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August 19th, 2011 | Andy Follow Andy
“Raven Radio (KCAW), Sitka, Alaska, operates from the historic Alaska Ca- ble House. Built in 1908, the Cable House served as one of the first facilities for bringing telegraph service into the terri- tory. In 2010, the radio station undertook a two-part, 5,600 square-foot paving proj- ect that posed difficult problems given the location of the property and the require- ments for success.
For the driveway and parking area, two alternatives were considered: poured concrete and asphalt. Concrete pavers and clay brick are generally not considered for large paving projects in Alaska since their heavy weight makes them expensive to ship up to the state.
Asphalt would have cost less than a concrete slab but would need annual seal- ing. Concrete would last longer than asphalt, but cracking was a concern. Neither would have been especially visual- ly appealing. But durability, maintenance and aesthetic considerations were pushed to the side when the stormwater impact of
an impervious surface became evident. Runoff over a solid asphalt or concrete surface would tax the capacity of the next- door fuel depot’s containment system and oil/water separator. “The problem of grit, sand and debris carried along by stormwa- ter was as much a concern as the amount and speed of runoff. The fuel depot advised that their system could get clogged up,” said Fate.
“‘Locals and tourists kept walking by during the project, asking questions and commenting on the pavers. I must have talked about the pavers with visitors from half the Lower 48 and Europe, too,’ said LaPerriere. ‘And there are fewer than 9,000 people in all of Sitka, so everyone knows everyone. Dozens of people have stopped me at the lumber yard and gro- cery store to chat and comment on the attractiveness of the results.’”
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