Putting permeable paving to the test near Philly airport

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For a while Philadelphia has been installing a new type of pavement in neighborhoods that struggle with flooding.

The city is putting several types to the test near the airport to see which will last the best.

All the paving at the employee parking facility on Enterprise Avenue near the airport is permeable — meaning rain flows right through it to the soil below.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the water department will test several types here to determine which handles wear and tear best.

“This kind of an arrangement with six different types of surfaces maybe the only one of its kind in the United States,” Nutter said.

Some of it resembles traditional asphalt, some looks like patio pavers.  

John Capacasa of the Environmental Protection Agency says the pavement could help minimize flooding.

“Rainwater that falls on paved surfaces does so with force and damages houses and streams and we’re trying to turn the tide and reverse that,” he said. “Philly here is showing smart solutions for stormwater management that also benefit the community.” 

Instead of cutting a ribbon, officials used pitchers of water to christen the site, which as promised ran right through the pavement.

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