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Chattahoochee County Success Stories

Chattahoochee County Success Stories

Mt Olive (PDF) (204 KB) html
Benning (PDF) (311 KB) html

A Look Back In Time

The Buena Vista Field Office staff, Soil Scientist Alfred Green, and State Soil Scientist Edward Ealy assisted the Unified Government of Chattahoochee County in locating and marking over 80 old unmarked graves in the Mount Olive Cemetery in the City of Cusseta.

Wes Tuttle, Soil Scientist with National Soil Survey Center in North Carolina, utilized Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to identify soil disturbances and other features which indicated the burial sites. The investigation was done to prevent the disturbance of any existing graves and to determine the extent of any remaining available areas for new grave sites.

As suspected, the cemetery is virtually filled to capacity and the County will need to find another site soon. While the exact age of the Mount Olive Cemetery was not known at the time of this investigation, it was noted however that there were headstones dating back to 1853.

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River of Mud Becomes a Stream of Traffic

Armored tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles maneuvering on Fort Benning bring a whole new meaning to what the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) terms heavy use area protection. With a little rain, just getting these ground shaking vehicles out to the training area can leave a dirt road or tank trail virtually impassable to a standard 4x4 truck. Even the armored vehicles themselves are steered around the deepest ruts and gullies, expanding the problem.

When it rains, these trails can literally become a river of mud. The tank trail in the A7 Training Compartment was a prime example of where an especially bad segment of the trail was located adjacent to Martin Range. Even though it was a primary travel route out to the mechanized training areas, over time the severity of the damage and concerns for safety forced all traffic to be detoured to a longer secondary route. Routine maintenance performed by Fort Benning on the site provided only temporary relief.

The NRCS was asked to assist in permanently correcting the damage and stabilizing the site to provide all-weather access for mechanized vehicles. After a thorough investigation of the site, a plan was developed by NRCS and the representatives of the Army to remedy the problem. To stabilize the site, it was first necessary to remove approximately 2 feet of unconsolidated mud and soil.

Once the sub-grade preparation was complete, a 12 inch layer of No.3 coarse aggregate stone was put down on a geo-textile fabric to form a foundation. The coarse aggregate stone also provided drainage relief for wet weather seepage. This stone was then covered with 9 inches of finely graded aggregate base material, crowned, and compacted to provide a smooth durable two lane driving surface. The ditches, shoulders and road banks were reshaped to provide for stable surface drainage and all disturbed areas were vegetated.

By extending NRCS’s traditional concept of heavy use protection to accommodate the foot print of a 60 ton tank, the A7 tank trail is back in use and is holding up well in all types of weather. Part of the planning on this site included the consideration of the maintenance capabilities of Fort Benning.

An advantage to the type treatment used is that it can be maintained through their normal trail grading program and easily repaired should it become damaged. The river of mud on the A7 tank trail has been replaced by a steady stream of traffic.

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