Flat Rock, Michigan
In the mid-1990s, global automotive supplier Bosch worked with Ghafari engineers to design a complex test track where they could perform higher speed vehicle maneuvers and brake testing programs. Situated on a 70-acre site, the track was comprised of the following testing areas: high, low, and split mu surfaces; traction hills; a Vehicle Dynamics Area (VDA); and special test surfaces, including potholes, deep sand, rumble strips, and sine waves.
More than a decade later, Bosch concluded that the track’s 1,150-foot-long VDA was too small to support their latest testing programs, and its surface quality had diminished considerably. They called on our engineering team, who designed the original track, to reconfigure the VDA to accommodate their Electronic Stability Program and foundation brake testing while minimizing the project’s impact on the surrounding wetlands.
Our design solution called for the removal of the existing track and the installation of a new test track with a parabolic curve, hydroplane area, VDA, staging area, and new stormwater detention ponds. Our scope also included the extension of electrical service to support test track requirements and a stormwater pumping station. Our stormwater retention calculations and design accommodate two back-to-back, 100-year storm events, incorporating a combination of upstream swales, pipes, and a retention pond to contain the volume of water. Additionally, an emergency generator was provided for the pump station to be used in the event of a power failure during a major storm event.
The redesigned test track has the space and surface areas to support advanced testing that is critical for assuring vehicle safety. In addition, as a result of our careful planning, less than 1/3 of an acre of the surrounding wetlands was ultimately impacted by the project, saving both initial construction and future maintenance costs.