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Big Minneapolis project helps Porous Pave achieve milestone
Jill Odom | September 29, 2016

Blackstone Contractors, LLC installed the Porous Pave permeable pavement.
Photo: Porous Pave

Porous Pave was the paving material of choice for the Downtown Commons in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as the city works to reduce stormwater runoff.

The Commons is a 4.2-acre public park and green space that was completed in August and is adjacent to the new U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings.

Porous Pave XL permeable pavement was installed in seven different areas around the Commons, totaling 19,000 square feet. An additional 3,000 square feet of Porous Pave XLS was used to create 120 tree surrounds.

“The Commons is the centerpiece of the revitalization and redevelopment of the Downtown East neighborhood,” said Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council member whose Ward 3 includes the Commons. “The reduction in harmful stormwater runoff and water pollution is one of its many environmental benefits for the entire city.”

Stormwater drains through Porous Pave’s surfaces at a rate of 5,800-6,300 gallons per hour per square foot, the company says. The XL formation is 50 percent chipped aggregate and 50 percent recycled rubber chips with a liquid binder, while XLS is 100 percent recycled rubber chips.


Porous Pave XLS was used to create the tree surrounds at the Downtown Commons.
Photo: Porous Pave

“Porous Pave was selected for its permeability, usability, versatility and ease of maintenance,” said Ryan Potvin, operations manager of Peterson Companies, the project’s landscape contractor. “With its rubber content, it is safe and suitable for foot traffic and wheelchairs, comfortable to stand on and slip-resistant when wet.”

The rubber component of Porous Pave comes from shredded and processed discarded tires. The Downtown Commons project helped Porous Pave reach a milestone: the use of more than 7.5 million pounds of recycled rubber in its products.

Blackstone Contractors LLC, applied the pour-in-place permeable pavement at a depth of 2 inches on top of a 2-inch aggregate base. They used 2 inches of the XLS for the tree surrounds. The XL used 1/8- to 1/4-inch tan colored chips, while the XLS was comprised of ¾-inch chips that were cypress colored.

“As is typical for highly urbanized areas, much of downtown Minneapolis is impervious,” said Mary Lydecker, senior associate with Hargreaves Associates, the landscape architecture firm that handled the project. “The Great Lawn, a large oval grass field, is a prominent element of the Commons, designed for deep infiltration of stormwater.

“Additionally, extensive native and adapted tree and groundcover plantings, as well as various permeable surfacing materials, including Porous Pave, make the Commons very effective at decreasing surface stormwater runoff.”


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