December 11, 2006

Pringle Creek's Full-Scale Porous Pavement System Flies Through Wettest Month in Oregon History
Eco-consious developers celebrate success of nation's largest "green street" system

SALEM, Ore. – According to the National Weather Service, Oregon experienced record-breaking rainfall throughout the month of November. The Portland metro area received 11.61 inches while Salem alone received more than 15 inches. Yet while many regional streets and sidewalks flooded as a result of clogged storm drains, Pringle Creek Community — a 32-acre sustainable living community located in the Willamette Valley — cruised through the month without flooding due to the success of its state-of-the-art porous pavement or “green street” system.  

“With 7,000 feet of green streets and 2,000 feet of green alleyways, Pringle Creek is the nation’s first full-scale porous pavement project,” said Jim Huddleston, executive director of the Asphalt Pavement Association of Oregon. “The use of porous pavement within Pringle Creek will create a healthier, more sustainable environment with less water pollution and runoff, saving at least ninety percent of the rainwater and returning it to an aquifer. These environmentally-conscious landscaping initiatives are a leading model of eco-conscience construction and design.”

Porous pavement retains stormwater runoff and replenishes local watershed systems. Instead of utilizing traditional asphalt mixes which allow large amounts of rainwater to carry oil, grease, chemicals and other pollutants that create imbalances in the natural ecosystem, Pringle Creek’s porous pavement system will be used to capture rainwater. The resulting rain gardens will allow stormwater runoff to infiltrate into the underlying soil which creates a natural water retention structure for the entire community, eliminating the need for a conventional stormwater management system, while simultaneously creating reflecting ponds and bioswales throughout the community, effectively “marrying” the art and science of design and construction.

The green streets of Pringle Creek offer benefits beyond water management.  The streets are narrower than conventional roads and use fewer materials to create roads, curbs and gutters. In addition, the narrower streets help to slow automobile traffic allowing for more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

“We are excited about the success of our green street system,” said Don Myers, president, Sustainable Development, Inc. “The use of these sustainable materials have allowed our project team the ability to design and build an elegant solution to a complex problem. The use of porous pavement emphasizes our ‘wholistic’ approach to maintaining ecological and aesthetic benefits to create healthy homes and healthy lifestyles for all residents of Pringle Creek Community.”