Repaved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot

From Aggie Hotline

Published: August 24, 2010

COLLEGE STATION, August 24, 2010 — Transportation Services took a new approach to construction in Lot 61 in order to save trees. The lot, centrally located on the campus of Texas A&M, is a prime example of blending green initiatives with new technology in construction in order to provide an enhanced parking area, shaded by more than 73 majestic live oak trees.

The lot had been plagued with structural problems including potholes and cracking. As a result there was moisture seeping into the subgrade.  While the moisture has been an extra source of water for the live oaks, it has caused problems for customers within the lot.

In order to save the existing trees and repair the lot, Clint Willis, Transportation Services manager for Parking Facilities Projects and Maintenance, worked with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. to provide a new plan for the lot.  “A total redesign for the lot was required including changes in ingress and egress in order to save the trees” states Willis.

The new plan called for the drip line around each tree to be increased from 10 feet to 30 feet.  This tripling of the drip line area allows for greater protection of the tree and additional water absorption.

In addition to the improvements in overall design, a newer product in lot construction known as tensar triax geogrid provides an alternative to the historic use of lime stabilization.

While the lime process can cause damage to tree roots, this new process used in lot 61 protects the root system while providing a fabric-like structure between the subgrade and limestone base.

This new “fabric” replaces the role of lime stabilization for the conservation efforts required in this project.  Another added feature of the lot 61 redesign is a pedestrian walkway which will connect the existing pedestrian passageway to the future passageway, a project currently underway by the university.

Over 150 new lighting structures, using the new campus standard Gardco Cosmopolis bulbs, have also been added to the lot and 6 new motorcycle spaces will be provided.  While there is a loss of 10% of the previous spaces provided in the lot, Transportation Services is pleased with the immeasurable gain in the aesthetics that this lot will continue to provide the campus community for many years to come.