When most people think of road pavement, they think of asphalt. The new East Dunne Ave housing development in Morgan Hill, CA decided to do something different. They had Bay Area Pervious Concrete install pervious concrete from curb to curb for the new Seville Drive.
Pervious concrete works great for roadways. Pervious concrete roadways have a lifespan of 30-50 years before it may need to be replaced. They are largely maintenance free for their entire lifespan, some light debris removal should be all that is needed to maintain it, see our maintenance manual for more details. Like regular concrete, pervious concrete is made using portland cement, the same material that built Roman coliseums, so it has long lasting strength. When installed, pervious concrete does not release any harmful gases that may affect residents' health. The extra benefit of pervious concrete is that it is a stormwater management system that doubles as a pavement. It filters and cleans pollutants out of stormwater and allows for clean water to infiltrate for groundwater recharging. This eliminates those awful "first flushes" and wet, slick roadways that can create roadway hazards.
Unlike pervious concrete roads, asphalt roadways have short lifespans, and require regular maintenance. Asphalt roads must be replaced, or resealed, every 10-15 years. Due to asphalt being a petroleum based product, when they are installed and replaced the asphalt emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air that are hazardous to health. The organic nature of asphalt means that it begins to deteriorate as soon as it is installed, this leads to roads that are filled with defects, such as potholes and cracks. This increases the maintenance necessary and inconvenience for residents. Typical asphalt roads also do not provide any stormwater management services. In fact they can actually contribute to poor water quality by concentrating pollutants that collect on the surface and rapidly shedding them into local waterways.
With so many benefits over asphalt it's amazing that more roads are not paved with pervious concrete. We are working to change that, one road at a time. Have questions about pervious concrete roadways, leave a comment or contact us.