Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Archive for the ‘Special Surfaces’

Pavers in Crosswalks

May 31, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features, Special Surfaces

During the street reconstruction/reconfiguration era (1998 to 2008) In downtown Houston Cross-section of paver crosswalk installationwe added concrete unit paver crosswalks at many intersections. The colors and patterns were selected to support an identity to the location and correlate with the various districts: i.e. the Theater District; the Skyline District, etc. They clearly define the area of the crosswalk but their installation and maintenance is challenging. This article will highlight several of the situations you want to avoid if you install similar crosswalks. (more…)


The Bayou Fountain

May 23, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains, Special Surfaces

This fountain symbolizes the meandering bayous of the Houston area with their rising and falling water levels. The water from the adjacent pump/water treatment vault streams up a hole in the center of the large center stone. From the center channels are carved in winding paths and the water flows to the edge where the water runs down the rough side of the stone, through a grate and into the collection trench around the perimeter of the large stone. The water in the trench flows by gravity to the wet well that is part of the pump/water treatment vault.Bayou fountain with streams

The stone covered sidewalk around the center stone extend out around stone benches. The sidewalk stone has shallow wandering “bayous” continuing out from the center stone. The “bayou’s” bottoms are stained black. The fountain is circled by Mexican Sycamore trees found along the bayous in Houston. (more…)

Sidewalk Art: Puzzles

April 12, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Features, Special Surfaces

On Prairie Street in downtown Houston (map) the Cotswold Project added art in the widened sidewalk areas and one of the installations uses puzzle shapes with sandblasted artist created patterns. There are several aspects to this installation–and more than a few lessons–you may find interesting. The process we experienced–the challenges and the rewards–are enumerated below.sidewalkpuzzels2.jpg (more…)

Sidewalk Paver Foundations

March 14, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features, Special Surfaces

Maintenance cost of pavers–concrete unit pavers and clay brick pavers–is directly related to the installation methodology in two ways. First is the support system below the pavers and second is the gaps between the pavers particularly when cutting them to fit around water meters, street light foundations, parking meters, etc.gualpaverinstall1.JPG

In downtown Houston we have installed pavers on cement stabilized sand (c-sand) and on concrete sub-slabs. As you would expect the sub-slab installations present fewer maintenance challenges. A c-sand installation’s value is directly related to the sub-grade preparation as the C-sand will not span soft spots like a concrete slab. Do not let anyone tell you it is only a lower strength concrete as there are many differences that begins with there being no reinforcing steel in c-sand. (more…)