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J A N U A R Y 2 7, 2 0 1 2 - NEWS ALERT
Beach Road to Get Porous Asphalt
- First project of its kind in New York State.
- One of the most important lake-saving projects ever for Lake George.
Beach Road at the south end of the Lake is about to become even more famous. It's about to become the first heavily traveled roadway in New York State (and one of the only roads in all of the Northeast) to be paved with porous asphalt. This exciting technology allows stormwater to drain right through it and be filtered naturally by the earth below. The silt, salt and pollutants the stormwater carries will be filtered out naturally and will not go into the Lake.
Kudos to Warren County Director of Public Works, Jeff Tennyson, and the state Department of Transportation, for moving forward on this revolutionary project, one we believe will get national recognition, and will set a precedent for many like it to follow in other lakeside communities.
Beach Road has been in need of reconstruction for several years. In 2010, Warren County was planning to use traditional asphalt on the road. After attending the North County Stormwater Conference & Trade Show, and seeing several presentations on porous asphalt applications, Randy Rath, project manager at the LGA, and Dave Wick, director of Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, encouraged the county to consider porous asphalt as an alternative to traditional asphalt. Together, Randy and Dave quickly conducted research on the possibilities and made a presentation. They knew there had been many significant improvements in the strength, durability, and production cost of porous asphalt, and thought Beach Road was a perfect fit for the new technology. In 2011, the LGA provided just over $8,000 in funding for a feasibility study with project engineer Tom Baird (Barton & Loguidice), to provide the information the county and state needed to move forward. At the same time, Dave Wick helped draft an application for additional monies to offset any higher cost from using porous asphalt. The pieces of the puzzle came together at the right time. We want to thank Jeff and the county DPW for offering us the opportunity to advance this project. We'd also like to thank Tom for his passion and expertise, and for the many hours he gave to the project.
According to today's story in the Adirondack Journal, the $6 million-plus reconstruction project will begin in mid-April, and will be completed in about 18 months. The pavement will be installed between Canada Street and Fort George Road.
Because this technology is still relatively new in the U.S., the county plans to install the infrastructure and storm drain system that would be needed with traditional asphalt, while the road is under construction. This traditional drainage system will be capped off and will only be brought online in the event that the permeable pavement fails and has to be replaced by traditional asphalt at some point in the future. So the Beach Road project will provide a true demonstration for the permeable pavement, and many people around the state and nation will be watching it to see how it works.
Stormwater runoff is the number one source of pollutants entering Lake George. The dense development at the south end of the Lake, and the many impervious surfaces created by it, increases the volume and rate of flow of stormwater. Along with the stormwater, many contaminants, such as silt, salt and harmful nutrients, are carried directly into the Lake.
Research studies and previous projects have shown that porous pavement is highly effective in draining stormwater, and as a result, it increases traction, reduces the build up of ice, and requires much less de-icing material in the winter. (See the Albany parking lot at right -- with porous asphalt in the foreground and traditional asphalt in the background.) This is all very good news for the Lake, as the amount of salt detected in the south end of the lake has doubled in just over 20 years. The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center has conducted numerous studies showing how effective and beneficial this new technology can be.
The Beach Road project will be a great complement to the West Brook Conservation Initiative. We can't wait to show both projects off in our own backyard!
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Lake George Association, Inc.
PO Box 408
Lake George, New York 12845-0408
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