Phil Busey Agronomy
Consulting Inc.


Muck Blanket (9/4/2013)

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Muck blanket
Muck blanket on the south side of I-595 east of Nob Hill Road, 9/4/2013.



By specification, Florida highway shoulders and embankments are topdressed at the time of construction with a "muck blanket" of typically 4 inches depth. This practice provides at least a shallow root zone with some moisture holding capacity for ground covering plants such as bahiagrass. What is also important is that the muck, organic humus, has some cohesion and can stay in place on top of crushed limestone base, allowing for infiltration of rain and root penetration. The practice was attributed to Grover Rivers, who was responsible for roadside grassing, beautification, and the environment, within the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

Because we can now anticipate plantings, it looks like the 4-year reconstruction project (started in 2010) is showing signs of completion. This had been reported to be the most expensive section of the US Interstate Highway System, based on cost per mile, at the time of original construction 1984 to 1989 (the interchange with I-95 was completed in 1991). The high price was partly due to the cost of buying right-of-way for the alignment.