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Arlington Not Planning to Join Class Action Lawsuit Against Synthetic Turf Installer

Arlington County is not currently planning to join the class action lawsuit against FieldTurf USA Inc., the company that installed turf at several county fields.

Several school districts and local governments across the country have accused the company of installing defective turf.

“At this time we have not experienced our turf failing, we have not had that experience,” said Robert Capper, Arlington Parks & Recreation’s capital assets manager.

One of the turf fields at Long Bridge Park is scheduled to be replaced beginning in late March, a process that will take three months and cost just over $400,000. FieldTurf USA was outbid by GTR Turf, Inc. for the replacement contract.

The fields, which are under warranty until early 2019, will be replaced early so that all three Long Bridge Park fields will not be replaced simultaneously.

Fields come with an eight year warranty, and are generally replaced eight or nine years after installation, according to Lisa Grandle, Arlington County Parks & Recreation’s park development division chief.

The warranty for one of the Long Bridge Park’s synthetic turf fields covers defective material or installation workmanship problems, but doesn’t cover what Grandle called normal wear and tear or heavy usage.

“Like tires on your car, the more hours you’re on them, the more the fields wear down,” said Grandle.

The county has not completed a cost comparison between synthetic turf and natural grass because synthetic field allows more options for playing and lasts longer than natural grass, she said.

Natural grass can sustain about 900 hours of playtime before it is considered degraded. Synthetic turf can last for approximately 2,100 hours of playtime prior to degradation, according to county officials.

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