Permeable Paver Helps City Meet Stormwater Management Goals
MONTGOMERY, AL---Five years ago, the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Interstate 65 was home to a long-abandoned glass factory. Soil surrounding the site was polluted with oil and hydraulic fluids. Old concrete culverts built to contain an urban stream were clogged with trash. Nearby residents appropriately called the spot “Genetta Ditch”.
Today, the 4-acre site in the heart of West Montgomery is in the midst of a three-phase project. What used to be called a ditch is now being called the Genetta Stream Restoration Project. When completed, the former vacant lot will help the City of Montgomery resolve long-standing issues with stormwater runoff and pollution. The former industrial eyesore is being converted into an attractive inner-city park with several unique environmental features. The park’s focal point is a man-made wetland designed to restore the water quality of the stream flowing through the site.
To further reduce pollutants reaching the stream, walking areas are being built with specially designed interlocking concrete pavers. For this part of the project, designers turned to Block USA for a new type of permeable paver called Eco-Priora. “This project is a first for the state of Alabama,” says Block USA’s Jon Stewart. “Eco-Priora has a unique 8% void that’s great for handling stormwater runoff while being well-suited to pedestrian areas like those found in the new Genetta Park.”
Stewart says when installed, the Eco-Priora permeable units provide the classic look of a traditional brick-shaped paver. The resulting paved surface is smooth and compliant with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “The product is great looking but it also has great function,” says Stewart. “Eco-Priora allows stormwater to go through and be contained on-site. This ensures storm drains won’t be overwhelmed in a flash flood.”
Beneath the pavers are several layers of stone. This open-graded base helps store water and slowly release it back into the soil. Permeable pavers and the crushed stone base work together to manage stormwater, stop sewer overflows and keep pollutants out of the water. “The paver, along with the base and sub-base, cleans the rain water as it passes through. It takes away the total suspended solids and some of the phosphates,” says Stewart.
The project is also lined with several concrete segmental retaining walls which seamlessly tie-in to the park’s natural appearance. “Because the walls are shorter, this project used a six-inch unit,” says Stewart. “The retaining wall block are used to bring the right elevation and look to Genetta Park."
Block USA offers several pavers designed for environmentally sensitive projects. In addition to the Eco-Priora unit, many municipalities and developers are utilizing the Octabrick paver for parking lots in areas with tight stormwater regulations. Block USA is proud to offer products that work to make our communities better. “Block USA tries to look ahead and see the future, find products for our clients that will help bring them a competitive advantage and be environmentally friendly.”
Eco-Priora® has become the permeable paver of choice among design professionals. This paver features interlocking spacers that offer advanced interlocking capability under traffic loads compared to other rectangular permeable pavement systems on the market. The flat surface and minimal chamfers of Eco-Priora make it well-suited to pedestrian areas and for ADA handicap-accessible pavements where a smoother surface is desired.
Eco-Priora® pavers are ideal for residential, municipal, and commercial applications, such as walkways, patios, driveways, courtyards, plazas, retail areas, entry areas, parking lots, and streets. It can be installed in a number of patterns such as herringbones, running bond, and basketweaves.
- Eco-Priora® Permeable Pavers
- Anchor 6-inch Retaining Wall Units