‘Green’ Solution Found for Proposed Library Parking – Porous Asphalt

From Susan Tuz of the New Milford Spectrum:

“Municipalities throughout the state and New England may soon come to Sherman as a learning destination when building in their towns. The inspiration could be a “green” solution reached recently for creation of a 36-vehicle parking area included in the Sherman Library expansion plans. Civil engineer Paul Szymanski of Arthur H. Howland & Associates PE, which has undertaken the engineering work for the expansion, and Sherman town engineer Joseph Zareki collaborated on the project.

The two men took trips to the University of New Hampshire and the University of Connecticut in Storrs to examine “porous asphalt” surfaces used in parking areas at both schools. This porous asphalt is created without the sand component of the more commonly used non-porous asphalt product found in parking lots and roadways, Mr. Szymanski explained. “Water can filter through it, infiltrating into the ground beneath,” Mr. Szymanski said. “It’s better for the environment” as there is no standing water/oil build up in the lot for environmentally damaging runoff into culverts.

“We were trying to find a creative solution for a tight site. They showed us low-impact site development techniques at the two universities,” he said. Library Building Committee chairman Clay Cope is excited about this aspect of the project. He noted Mr. Szymanski is donating a machine that would vacuums sand and debris from the parking lot so as little sediment as possible would go into catch basins. “We were thrilled that they could come up with an innovative green solution,” Mr. Cope said.

A rain garden will be incorporated at the Sherman Library site, a swale with plantings that soak up rainwater as it runs from the parking lot. A grass line swale would also be included, with grass plantings to encourage infiltration of storm water runoff, Mr. Szymanski explained. The grass line swale would also provide a site for snow to be piled as it is plowed off the parking lot. The lot would sit tightly against Saw Mill Road. A sidewalk along the lot would allow for safe pedestrian traffic.

“We see other towns’ commissions and boards coming to Sherman to see this cutting edge storm water technology,” Mr. Szymanski said. “Sherman has made a step toward being a learning site for the region.””

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Our firm performed the following services for this project: Property Survey, Topographic SurveyZoning Location Survey, Hydrology & Stormwater Management, Stormwater System DesignSedimentation & Erosion Control Plans, Septic System Design, Utility Layout, Roadway Design, Driveway Design, Sight Distance Analysis, Parking Lot Layout & Design, Traffic Circulation & Studies, Cuts & Fills Analysis, Low Impact Development, Wetland Soil & Watercourse Delineation, Soil Investigation & Testing, Local, State, & Federal Land Use Permitting. Contact us today at (860) 354-9346 to have us assist you with your next project.

Click Here to learn more about the services we offer. Arthur H. Howland & Associates, P.C. is a full service civil engineering, land surveying, land use planning and environmental services firm. Contact us today at (860) 354-9346 to find out how we can assist you with your next project.