A new pervious parking lot at Swansboro Town Hall is designed to absorb rainwater, reducing the amount of stormwater that ends up in nearby waterbodies.
The 15,000 square foot parking lot is designed to allow stormwater to soak into the ground, reducing the volume of stormwater runoff that ends up in Ward Creek. Deputy Director for the North Carolina Coastal Federation Lauren Kolodij said the permeable paving grids used for the project cost about the same as asphalt and are just as durable.
“In the center of the parking lot, it’s got your regular asphalt lanes that you drive on, the regular driving surface. But the parking stalls are actually these grid pavers. So they’re these little plastic cells that are filled with rocks. So when the stormwater hits the parking lot, it just soaks right through into the ground.”
The North Carolina Coastal Federation partnered with the Town of Swansboro to develop the parking lot, the first of several projects included in their watershed restoration plan. Stormwater pollution is one of the greatest environmental concerns for coastal communities, Kolodij said.