“Thirsty” Asphalt Wins Environmental Sustainability Award

The Oregon Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA) recently bestowed their coveted Julian Prize for Sustainability for Public Works on the Port of Portland for installing 35 acres of environmentally-friendly “porous” asphalt at one of the Port’s auto-import facilities. While rain runs off most asphalt, porous asphalt allows stormwater to leak through the surface and recharge the ground water in a more environmentally friendly way. The Port also installed a system of swales and natural vegetation to handle heavy rain. The project was a model of environmental stewardship and smart business, which balanced benefits to the community, the economy, and the environment. Benefits from incorporating porous asphalt include:

  • 100 percent on-site stormwater management
  • Shortened design, construction and permitting process
  • Lower annual operating costs, maintenance costs, and reduced stormwater fees
  • Improved stormwater quality, with groundwater recharge
  • Reduced impact on “storm surge” in adjacent waterways
  • In warm weather, allows stormwater to cool before entering the river
  • $250,000 in cost savings from reduced permitting requirements and the fact that no stormwater system was necessary

The Port added porous asphalt to the AWC auto import facility at Terminal 6. AWC handles importing operations for Hyundai autos. The Oregon APWA Chapter includes more than 650 professional engineers, technicians, and others who join together to exchange ideas and information, promote education and training, and work as a team to meet professional and community needs. The Oregon Chapter awarded three Julian prizes in 2007. Partners in the porous asphalt project included Auto Warehousing Company, Century West Engineering, a leading NW consulting firm in sustainable design; GreenWorks, a Portland based landscape architecture firm with a sustainable design focus; and Cahill Associates, a nationally recognized stormwater management design firm.

This entry was posted in Awards.