LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. - Construction has begun on a unique porous-pavement road system that will reduce pollution into Lake George from vehicle traffic and road salt on a one-mile stretch of Beach Road.
Beach Road, running along the southern shore of Lake George from Route 9 to Route 9L, will be the first major roadway in New York State to be covered with a porous-pavement surface.
When completed next year, the $7.7 million project will create the largest and longest stretch of porous pavement ever constructed in the Northeast designed for heavy traffic and use.
Subsurface work will be completed this summer, along with a 100-foot test section of porous pavement.
"Using porous-pavement will help improve water quality in Lake George and protect it from day-to-day, harmful run off," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
In addition to $7.7 million from federal, state and county highway aid, financing for the engineering and design of this unique road surface is being supported by a Green Innovation Grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp.
The Green Innovation Grant Program is a statewide competition, spurring the development of new and sustainable ways to reduce water pollution by managing stormwater with low-cost, eco-friendly designs such as porous pavement.
"The porous surface will eliminate the need for drainage structures in the roadway, reduce the amount of salt required in winter time by up to 50%, reduce road spray, improve traction. The pores in the asphalt matrix provide an environment where petroleum and other automobile based contaminants will biologically break down before entering the stone reservoir system below the pavement or the original ground underneath," said Tom Baird P.E., Project Manager and Chief Engineer, on the project for Barton & Loguidice.
Baird has spent much of the past two years studying the science of porous pavement, developing specifications and creating a unique design for Beach Road that had to account for its close proximity to Lake George, the existing high water table, and varying lake elevations during significant storm events and cold temperatures.
Project Engineer with B&L, Dan Rourke. P.E., added, "The new pavement system will be able to store up to 5" of rain in a 24-hour period and also includes provisions to protect the pavement and storage systems from even more extreme weather conditions that can occur around Lake George."