The San Francisco Bay Area gets a lot of rain, which is one of the reasons why the roads are falling apart. In combination with bad drivers, water and asphalt can become an ugly mix! However, it would seem like water and asphalt do not go well together because potholes will occur, but porous asphalt provides a solution to this dilemma! Porous asphalt is great for mitigating water problems and having safer roads.
Porous asphalt became popular in 2012 when various successful projects were documented across the country. For example, Queens, NY used porous asphalt as a solution to prevent flooding in the streets. Additionally, Lake George, NY used porous asphalt on Beach Road to re-redirect rainwater away from the lake. By having porous asphalt on Beach Road, contaminated rainwater was deviated away from the lake, thus solving an environmental issue instantaneously ¹.
Another factor to consider is that porous asphalt is less slippery when it rains ¹. Thus, by having more roads that can quickly dissipate water away from the surface, cars will not hydroplane as much on porous asphalt. In this regard, porous asphalt is a safer option for roads but of course, there is a cost factor to consider.
Porous asphalt is a great solution in urban settings to have parking lots that reduce rainwater and puddles to keep customers happy! Imagine a business spending a high amount of money on a parking lot, but not considering rain a huge factor. Puddles would accumulate every time it rained and that would be a bad first impression for the customers of any business. Porous asphalt is a great solution to control the flow of rainwater on a parking lot or road.
Any decent paving contractor would consider all of these issues and try to mitigate the problems to comply with what the law requires, but there are limitations to what inspectors can do on a job-site. A high quality paving company would comply with all the laws and on top of that, go beyond what is required to give a customer the solution they deserve.
When considering porous asphalt, it is clear that asphalt paving requires careful planning and consideration to have a successful solution that is right for a customer. As I have mentioned in my previous blog, although it seems that pavement is just poured on overnight, asphalt has many facets that are complex, which essentially create the “quality” of a paving job.
1. The Summer of Porous Asphalt. Asphalt Paving Alliance (APA). May 16th, 2013.