Friday, May 19, 2006

Why not use pavers instead of sod in AFA medians?

QUESTION: I’ve seen a sod ritual cycle performed for at least the last seven years at the USAF Academy. The cycle seems to be that they replace the dead grass along South Gate, Stadium and North Gate Boulevards just in time for graduation and then use tons of de-icing solution in the winter that kills the grass, which requires replacement just in time for graduation. Has the USAF Academy ever considered replacing the dead sod with decorative pavestone of some kind? I think the water they use to irrigate is recycled or well water.
- Wally Magda

ANSWER: Replacing sod with pavers along these three boulevards, which run for miles, would cost an estimated $4 million, according to Larry Duran, chief for contract services for civil engineering at the Air Force Academy. “Sod is a lot cheaper, a less expensive alternative.” The sod that gets replaced is along curb lines where it is hit by deicer and suffers from dryness in the winter. Duran said officials eventually want to eliminate the need to replace sod and have considered stamped pavers just along the curbs, but the project would have to be done in small segments, such as the completed landscaping with concrete path off Stadium Boulevard in front of the stadium. Irrigation water for the medians is recycled from the wastewater treatment plant which contains “natural fertilizer,” Duran said.


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