Longacres – The track dirt

Longacres Racetrack has been gone over 20 years now. Construction around it has picked up with new buildings on the south end. This gave me an opportunity to see a cross-section of the track dirt.

There is a need for drainage around these new buildings so they have bisected the track. I came across a fence baring the way that was open track only a few months ago. They have dug down and lined the area. Looks like they used the track dirt for that.

Standing on southern end of Longacres looking north over construction
Standing on southern end of Longacres looking north over construction

Here are the views to the west showing how the track looks as it goes back towards where the grandstands and club house stood.

Facing west on southern end of Longacres racetrack
Facing west on southern end of Longacres racetrack

They have decided to protect some of the lombardy poplars where they cut into the track. Notice the signs that state no trespassing and protected trees.

Racetrack poplars protected during construction
Racetrack poplars protected during construction

When I saw all this dirt revealed I had to get on the other side of the fence and get some documentation of how the track was built.

Longacres track bisected by water retention construction
Longacres track bisected by water retention construction
Longacres track cut into reveals composition of sand and clay
Cut into Longacres track reveals composition of sand and clay

Here are two photos showing you an area I scraped off. One is with my water bottle to give us a gauge of depth – it is around 10 inches tall.

Longacres - sandy loam on top with clay below
Longacres – sandy loam on top with clay below
Longacres track dirt cross-section
Longacres track dirt cross-section

It was built in the 1930s from a clay base with Green River sandy loam on top. Perfect racing surface for horses.

That clay base is about 8 to 10 inches.  You can see where I scraped into the natural soil at the bottom. Then the top is sand of about 6 inches. Again you can see where I have scraped the area that denotes where the two layers meet. No wonder only grass and blackberries grow on the old track surface. Not a lot of fertile soil for vegetation to thrive on.

I leave you with a video that gives a 360 degree view of this area. From the track on either side to the infield full of blackberries and Boeing buildings in the distance. When I made this video I thought it was sand on top and loam on the bottom. That is wrong. It is clay on the bottom and sandy loam on the top.  That is what I get for going off my memory.

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