Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Small Slices of Unit Pavers

October 03, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Recent Posts, Special Surfaces

PaversNarrowSlices.jpgIf you have read a few of my posts about paver surfaces you have read about the importance of sand in the joints. As I walked from a meeting back to the office the other day I was reminded of a situation that should/could be avoided that can accelerate the migration of the sand.

The problem is when small slices or pieces of pavers are needed to fill a very narrow gap that is too wide to be only sand. So, the gap is filled with a 1-inch or less “slice” of paver that is floating on top of the sand bed and between the concrete edge of the recess and the next paver. (more…)

Street Reconstruction-Things to Anticipate, Part 1

September 12, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Project Mngt., Recent Posts

Historic Street Brick–Reclaiming and Lessons Learned

July 15, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features, Special Surfaces

20030530 OldBrickStockatCOH_0038.JPGDuring the eight years of street reconstruction in downtown Houston Texas we found many historic street bricks that paved the early streets of Houston in the mid-1800s. The City’s policy was to save the bricks for use in future projects. Two projects have been identified and so there was a need to sort the stored bricks and finally return some of them to service. (more…)

Pavers and the Importance of Sand

June 24, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Amenities, Recent Posts, Sidewalk Features

Note sand washing to surface and spalding of corners.Concrete unit pavers are getting a bad reputation in some circles as they have not provided a care-free pavement. But, there is no such thing as care-free pavement. Some just need more care than others and that is the case with concrete unit pavers–particularly in high traffic situations in a wet environment. Ironically loose sand is what holds them together. (more…)

Changing to Pay-&-Display parking meters-Appearance Issues

February 05, 2010 By: Tom Davis Category: Parking, Sidewalk Features

Solar powered pay-and-display parking meter.Many issues were considered when the City of Houston wanted to change parking meters. The change was to be from a mixture of single/dual space meters on a single post along with modern multi-space meters–recently added in the Cotswold area of downtown–to the more sophisticated solar-powered, micro-processor controlled, wifi networked, parking meter. This first post about our conversion relates how we mitigated the issue of the meter’s high-tech appearance in front of a historic structure.  I will offer other posts about the transition as you may be surprised how many hot points can be touched by a parking meter debate. (more…)

Reusing Historic Street Bricks

November 15, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Placemaking, Sidewalk Features

One of our Cotswold projects anticipated removing many old street bricks. We found bricks in many streets but the street where they were to be saved for reuse was also where we were removing unused old railroad tracks and placing the new water, waste water and storm water lines. But, we did not find enough bricks to rebuild the planned two blocks of Commerce Street either side of Main Street.CIMG6936.JPG

Looking back on that disappointment I now believe that was a blessing. Not that it was a bad idea but that we did not have the contract requirements in place to recreate a pavement equal to what our forefathers built. We also did not have a consistent brick source. We did plan plan to install the old bricks on a concrete slab to support the heavier vehicles of today. (more…)