Porous Paving Could Be Boon
Posted May 29, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
KINSTON — A new project in Lenoir County may be paving the way for progressive land development.
It isn't easy to get excited about concrete, but the state is pretty happy about a batch down east. The alternative pavement is designed to cut down on water pollution and erosion.
It works by letting rain soak through to the soil underneath.
It can't work in every type of soil, but supporters say it's perfect for the river basin areas east of the Triangle.
The clay soils do not allow water to pass through very easily but the sandy soils near Kinston and in Fayetteville, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount are the types of soils that this practice would work best in.
Once the blocks are in place, the holes will be filled with sand and the whole thing will be covered with grass seed. If things go as expected, organizers say this should look like a big grassy field in a few weeks, but it will be hard as a rock.
Advocates say the pavement is not strong enough for heavily travelled streets, but would work fine in parking lots or low traffic areas. They're also considering a plastic version for sidewalks and patios.
The catch for the asphalt alternative is that it's about 25 percent more expensive to install. On the other hand, it is projected to last longer, and to require very little maintenance.
Resurfacing would not be required, and the grass and the concrete themselves would last much longer than the typical asphalt parking area would.
The group will keep an eye on the project to see how well and how long it works.