Paving Your Way to Excellence
Award-winning work, like the MCAA's International Excellence in Masonry, isn't reserved just for buildings.
Two city paving projects ? the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, Calif. ? have won prestigious national awards. Both of these high-profile city developments had three important criteria to uphold: universal aesthetics, high durability and low-cost maintenance.
The decisions to beautify the Columbus downtown district and the Long Beach waterfront, and to use pavers in particular, were decided upon after considerable research and studies were made of similar projects in similar scenarios all over the United States. The feedback that they obtained was that, apart from the established cost savings benefits that were easily confirmed by doing lifecycle studies of paver installations, other more important benefits were obtained.
What they learned was that tremendous socio-economic benefits had accrued to those developers in particular and to the cities as a whole that used pavers. What happened was, by introducing decorative pavers, they created a whole new environment. Pavers not only provided attractive settings but, by up-scaling the whole neighborhood, they also changed the demographic mix of visitors. A whole new, higher-income group of tourists started visiting those districts and waterfront areas that may have previously been the haunt of a somewhat undesirable element.
In turn, owners of properties fronting these developments began to upgrade their own properties to reap better returns on what had previously been somewhat downscale investments. The net effect of these projects, and the hardscaping in particular, is that they have pavements that are built for posterity and should perform with the absolute minimum maintenance cost.
The Nationwide Arena
Nationwide, a diversified insurance and financial services company, decided to realize a dream that had been on the minds of the City of Columbus for many years. This dream was to rebuild and revitalize a downtown district of Columbus, much of which consisted of neglected and abandoned buildings, including the landmark State Penitentiary.
As with many other cities, Columbus never had a downtown theater and restaurant district. Their idea was to create a sports arena surrounded by a downtown, urban village environment that would be linked by brick paved streets, sidewalks and pedestrian plazas. In addition to creating an extension of downtown Columbus, the goal was to establish a truly pedestrian-friendly environment through the use of the pavers, trees and street furniture.
The architects had a major challenge in convincing the city and Nationwide to agree to use pavers for the streets and sidewalks. They had two major concerns about the use of pavers: whether they would stand up to the high downtown traffic; and whether they would be worth the cost.
The architects were able to demonstrate that the pavers far surpassed the city's most stringent specification requirements and eventually received the green light to go ahead with the planning process.
Much time was dedicated to the engineering of the street design to ensure that the installation would last a long time. The details included an engineered base and a particular specification for the joint sand, the loss of which would be certain to cause the pavement to fail. In order to ensure the integrity of the pavement, it was decided to use Surebond SB-1300-1370 Joint Stabilizing Sealer to bond up the joint sand and prevent its erosion. The work proceeded as planned and was completed on schedule.
It is really hard to believe what this recently degraded area of acres of gravel parking lots has become. The Nationwide Arena District has created a pedestrian-friendly destination for shoppers, diners and visitors during the day, while also offering a booming new spot for nightlife and entertainment. The adjacent property values have soared and, as a whole, the venture has been an absolute success story in the nation's growing urban revitalization program.
Queensway Bay Downtown Harbor Project
The other major award-winning project was the long-awaited Rainbow Harbor boardwalk beautification scheme. The Long Beach City Council, working with private developers, decided to rebuild the boardwalk around this picturesque bay to upgrade the popular tourist section for the city. Central to the design was a new sea wall with a hardwood handrail running along the top, created to look much like a typical handrail found on ocean liners.
The landscape architects, the Olin Partnership, working with Alan Fong and Associates, elected to use a blend of warm-toned tan, gray and brown pavers set in a running bond installed on a sand bed over an aggregate base and jointed in sand. The linear pattern was purposely chosen so that the pavers running alongside the handrail would create the illusion of one being on the deck of a large ocean-going liner. Ashlar patterned concrete cobble stone paving stones, bordered by tall, elegant palm trees, are features in the main pedestrian and traffic areas, as well as in some of the high-profile restaurant areas.
To meet the fast track construction demands on the two projects, the Surebond SB-1300-1370 Joint Stabilizing Sealer was applied to the pavement by pumping the material directly out of the drums using low-pressure bulk sprayers. The excess material was squeegeed into the joints to bond-up the sand and allowed to cure for 24 hours. The end result has been an unqualified success.
The pavers have been fully tested by not only the normal traffic, but by the very heavy cleaning techniques using mechanized pavement scrubbers. The performance life for the pavers has been generally estimated to be in excess of 100 years. A great testimonial for a well-designed and constructed pavement protected by Surebond SB-1300-1370 Joint Stabilizing Sealer.
The use of Surebond Joint Stabilizing Sealer helped these projects uphold the main criteria of universal aesthetics, high durability and low-cost maintenance.
About the Authors
Garry Perkins, President of Surebond Incorporated, is the inventor and manufacturer of the SB-1300-1370 sealers. Perkins has several years experience developing sealants and holds dozens of patents.
Peter van Niekerk, President of Surebond International, is the pavement sales engineer and master distributor of Surebond pavement products.