The city began paving new bike lanes on the South Hill. If it goes as city planners hope it does, the porous pavement may be used in future projects to help stop pollutants from going into the Spokane River.
The innovative project has been in the works for a couple of years, and once dry and painted, the new lanes will stretch for almost a mile on Havana Street from Glenrose Road to 37th Avenue. It will be made of permeable pavement, which is rougher than standard asphalt because it isn’t made with sand and other fine particles. By being porous, it allows stormwater to drain through, instead running over, its surface.
During inclement seasons, porous asphalt won’t allow any water to stay on its surface and freeze into a harrowing skin of ice.
Another project is testing the use of permeable pavement near Gonzaga University. GU seniors will lend their scientific know-how to the city of Spokane on this project, doing field and laboratory work to test the properties and effectiveness of a new type of road material.
The city’s utilities department is paying Gonzaga $63,000 for the work, which covers some compensation for three faculty advisers, lab materials and supplies, among other things.
The students’ work will help the city develop design, construction and maintenance standards for permeable pavement, which will include road work near Gonzaga on Sharp Avenue between Pearl and Cincinnati streets, scheduled for spring 2017.
Here's another view of the South Hill Havana project.