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Porous pavement may boost village’s fame

In 2010, workmen install a new water line under Beach Road. After an upcoming reconstruction project to the popular and famous roadway, stormwater will be drained through porous pavement and be filtered rather than be dumped into Lake George.

In 2010, workmen install a new water line under Beach Road. After an upcoming reconstruction project to the popular and famous roadway, stormwater will be drained through porous pavement and be filtered rather than be dumped into Lake George. John Lustyik

— For half a century, a roadway at the southern end of Lake George has routed millions of people to their vacation destination, whether it’s to a paddle-wheel tour boat, the Million Dollar Beach, or to one of many curio shops.

But over these years, many millions of gallons of stormwater, carrying silt and contaminants, have flowed off this venue, Beach Road, directly into Lake George.

However, a road reconstruction project now in the planning stage is expected to halt this pollution while bringing national attention to Lake George.

Warren County and the state Department of Transportation are planning to install porous pavement that will allow precipitation to drain right through it, rather than collect in puddles or flow into storm sewer drains that now dump the dirty water into Lake George, Warren County Public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson said.

“Water will drop right through the porous pavement, which maintains traction much better and has far less ice build-up,” he said.

Instead, the water will be soaked up and filtered naturally in the roadbed — and several treatment devices to be installed under the pavement — leading to slow, sure purification, he added.

“Every drop of water hitting Beach Road will be filtered by three to four feet of sand and gravel before it gets the lake,” he said.

Tennyson said the innovative roadway, serving as a pilot project, will demonstrate that porous roadways are practical — and likely boost Lake George’s fame.

“With its experimental features, this project is the first of its kind in New York State and will bring Lake George attention on a national level,” he said. “There couldn’t be a better location for this.”

Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District Director Dave Wick also praised the project. He helped in lining up a $416,000 grant to pay for the environmentally-friendly pavement. He noted this week that the project has already spurred a lot of interest among municipal engineers and environmentalists.

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