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Residential development reaps multiple benefits from permeable pavement infrastructure

Win-win for 500-acre development

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June 03, 2019 |

The BridgeTower Heights development benefitted from an upscale look, increase development space and decreased infrastructure costs


The Challenge

Meridian is the fastest growing city in Idaho, currently boasting more than 85,000 residents. This fast-paced growth means high demand for new homes and increased competition among residential developers to appeal to selective buyers. With plans for a 500-acre master planned community in northwest Meridian, the developer for BridgeTower Heights wanted to create an upscale look while at the same time reducing infrastructure costs and maximizing the amount of land available for development.


The Solution

BridgeTower Heights set itself apart with roadways paved with Belgard® permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) systems. Providing a decorative look, the PICP allowed the engineering team to incorporate a sophisticated underground stormwater management system at a cost less than asphalt roadways with traditional stormwater system infrastructure.

Property owner Michael McCollum was familiar with permeable pavers from former projects. “While they look more expensive, they’re actually proving to be the opposite, and they’ll be easier to maintain. It’s a win-win.”

A PICP system with underground storage basins provides an alternative to stormwater detention ponds and traditional subsurface storage structures, both of which require extensive infrastructure including storm pipes and drainage inlets. Additionally, traditional management systems use otherwise developable space. And since municipalities manage stormwater basins, they often have strict landscaping rules that can result in diminished aesthetics. With PICP stormwater systems, there is no wasted space, less infrastructure requirements and no landscaping limitations.

The idea of using permeable pavement in a residential community was new to the area, so engineers from Belgard met with the developer and Ada County Highway District staff to address any maintenance questions. “The seminar assured the county that they could maintain permeable pavement, and it could in fact reduce maintenance costs,” said Matt Munger, P.E., of Munger Engineering, the project’s engineer.


All streets within the 500-acre community are paved with Belgard permeable pavers. Stormwater drains through the joints, filters through layers of aggregate, and collects into underground basins which lead to underground aquafers.


The Result

The PICP roadways are resistant to cracking, responding well to freeze-thaw cycles, filtering road contaminants to reduce pollution of receiving waterways, and allowing for melting snow to drain, reducing reoccurring icy conditions. Additionally, rain immediately filters through the pavers at a cool temperature, reducing the temperature of local streams and ponds and protecting local aquatic life.

As these were the city’s first PICP streets, Belgard worked with Munger Engineering, Idaho Sand & Gravel and Belgard’s sister company Oldcastle Precast to provide a warranty for the entire system and installation, not just the paver product, delivering peace of mind to a city embracing a new idea.

Construction began in 2013. To date over 600,000 square feet of PICP have been installed, and the system is reportedly performing as designed. The final phases are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, bringing the total to over 1 million square feet of permeable pavement. Due to the success of this project, the developer is planning to use PICP for all pavement surfaces including streets, sidewalks and driveways on another 400-acre residential development scheduled to begin construction in 2020.




Phone: (844) 495-8210


Products Used on the Project: Aqualine® 12”L, Aqua Roc™ and Eco-Dublin®

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