Field Report – July 2009

Bituminous Roadways has developed porous asphalt designed to absorb water and dispense it to thirsty soil underneath.

According to the online informational video at, “Porous pavement is a permeable pavement surface with an underlying stone reservoir that temporarily stores surface runoff before infiltrating into the subsoil. This porous surface replaces traditional pavement allowing parking lot runoff to infiltrate directly into the soil and receive water quality treatment.”

To help demonstrate the environmental benefits of porous pavement, Bitmunious Roadways paved three Minneapolis, Minnesota, parking lots for customers according to their environmental needs. The company laid 16 spaces for the City of Richfield; 40 spaces for the City of Bloomington and 100 spaces for a commercial developer. Each was laid with a geotextile fabric to separate fine sediment from the 24- to 28-inch stone layer, followed by a 2-inch choker course and finally a 3-inch porous surface.

The porous pavement could save cities money in the long run. The commercial lot in particular blended porous and traditional asphalt and additional rain gardens for a “green” lot that transferred rainwater, eliminating the need for city money going toward building more water transport systems. -Shannon Langan

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