- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Davenport’s new two-block-long permeable street is undergoing the ultimate endurance test - an early and bitter start to what could be a long winter.

This fall, city crews ripped up the old Dover Court and installed 16,000 square feet of precast, articulated concrete blocks, hoping to address Duck Creek stormwater runoff issues in the neighborhood. But it has to endure a typically harsh Midwestern winter before any possible spring flooding occurs, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/11jYEVx ) reported.

“I’m very excited,” said Brian Stineman, Davenport’s natural resources manager. “I think this is the future for us.”

PaveDrain, a Milwaukee-based company, designed a permeable paving system that incorporates a patented arch design in the middle of an articulating concrete block to create an internal storage chamber that can be filled with stormwater runoff while simultaneously providing strength for heavy vehicle loads.

The system is designed to withstand any weather event, from extreme cold and snow to flooding, PaveDrain’s president Doug Buch said.

“Our main competitor is asphalt,” Buch said.

Permeable streets come at a cost, often twice as much per square foot as a typical asphalt street. Stineman, an early supporter, said he has had to convince city leaders to consider it over asphalt in replacing and building new street projects.

It cost $325,000 to redo Dover Court as a permeable street.

“The benefits are long term,” he said.

For instance, the layers of rock installed underneath can replace a traditional storm sewer.

It cost Jerry Neff of Pleasant Valley $12,000 to install a 1,200-square-foot permeable driveway in 2005. His feelings were mixed, but he mostly likes the benefits.

“I don’t care how hard it’s raining, it doesn’t run off,” he said. “It mostly goes down.”

And after nine years, there’s zero maintenance, he said.

But, Neff said, his wife doesn’t like the new driveway, and he worries that his bicycle tires will get caught in the cracks between the blocks.

PaveDrain’s website lists about 70 completed projects across the country, mostly in the Midwest and East Coast. A map shows two locations in Davenport, including an 800-square-foot parking lot at Discount Tire, 3324 W. Kimberly Road.

A state grant paid to replace Dover Court. Stineman said the residential street was chosen because it is prone to flooding from nearby Duck Creek and it is a low spot in the area that usually receives runoff from neighboring streets during storms. He said there is no storm sewer at Dover Court and the surface of the street itself was in “pretty poor shape.”

The PaveDrain concrete blocks used in Dover Court were manufactured at King’s Materials in Eldridge.

Stineman said 20 to 30 individual blocks were damaged during the installation, but they were replaced without replacing entire sections of the street.

He said it looks like the old brick streets but “rides a lot better than most paved streets in the city.”

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com


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