A New Face for East Pier

Creating a floating pavement system over an existing concrete cap

East Pier, Lorain, OH: the brick pavers were laid on a granular base and sand setting bed. Edges were restrained with poured concrete curbs, walls and pavement. Weep holes below the granular base allow any water trapped under the pavers to drain through the two-foot, concrete cap and into the gravel below it. Lorain, Ohio, East Pier
The brick pavers were laid on a granular base and sand setting bed. Edges were restrained with poured concrete curbs, walls and pavement. Weep holes below the granular base allow any water trapped under the pavers to drain through the two-foot, concrete cap and into the gravel below it.

Photos: Jim Maguire/Maguire Photographics

Located on Lake Erie, 40 miles west of Cleveland in Lorain, Ohio, East Pier originally was constructed in the mid-1960s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a navigational improvement for the harbor. It consists of cylindrical steel sheet pile cells capped with two feet of concrete. The technical name for the structure is the “East breakwater shorearm.” However, locally, it is referred to as the “East Pier” or “Mile Long Pier.” In fact, the structure is 2,332 feet in length.

In 1978, a major change was made to the structure through the construction of a rubber-mound armor stone confined disposal facility along the eastern edge of the pier to contain dredgings from the harbor and the nearby Black River. The capacity of the structure is 1.85 million cubic yards, encompassing 58 acres. This facility still is in operation on a portion of the site. As part of the construction of the disposal facility, chain-linked fencing topped with barbed wire was installed in the middle of the pier for safety.

Oversize pavers from The Belden Brick Co. were chosen for the Lorain East Pier project, since they are both utilitarian, and in scale with the large size of the dike.
Oversize pavers from The Belden Brick Co. were
chosen for this project, since they are both
utilitarian, and in scale with
the large size of the dike.

Commensurate with the redevelopment of many of our nation’s waterfront areas in the 1980s, the Lorain Port Authority, in association with the City of Lorain, prepared a master plan to guide the redevelopment of the pier, confined disposal site and landslide areas. This plan provided for the development of a 600-slip marina, public parking and relocation of the chain-linked fence to promote public access and usage. These features were constructed in 1988.

20 Years Later

During 2007, the Lorain Port Authority updated its master plan for the pier and disposal site area. This new plan called for mixed-use development in the area, expansion of public parking along the eastern edge of the pier, shorebird habitat restoration, open space, and development of a nature center. As part of the master plan, landscape architects Behnke Associates Inc. proposed three phases of development for what is now referred to as Lakeside Landing. The first phase mainly consists of a “face lift” to the 2,332-foot-long dike, particularly the concrete cap that became a high priority.

It was determined immediately that removing and replacing the two-foot-thick concrete cap with a more attractive pavement was not cost-effective. The concrete cap provided an important structural purpose, even though it had become cracked and uneven since being built in 1964.

Other considerations for a new pavement were issues dealing with severe weather such as freeze-thaw cycles and heavy ice that could potentially build up to three feet in thickness coming off the lake in winter time. As a result, the designers looked for a way to cover the cap with a new pavement that would “float” over the concrete cap. By floating on top of the cap, the pavement would not reflect new cracks that could develop from the movement of the dike.

Oversize pavers from The Belden Brick Co. were used for the floating pavement at the East Peir project.

Choosing The Paver

The choice for creating a floating pavement was a unit paver with a flexible base and non-mortared joints. Moreover, given the large area of pavers (about one acre), considerable thought was given to the size of the paver, its pattern, and its color range. Oversize pavers from The Belden Brick Co. were chosen, since they are both utilitarian, and in scale with the large size of the dike.

A specific range of colors provided by Belden Brick also was a major consideration for the floating pavement pavers.

The paver area measures 21 feet wide by more than 2,300 feet long and, on occasion, carries heavy vehicular traffic. For this reason, oversized 4- X 12- X 2 3/4-inch pavers were specified, creating a surface that would qualify for a heavy vehicular rating under ASTM C 1272. A specific range of colors provided by Belden Brick also was a major consideration.

A four-color range of brick pavers in earth tones was used to add interest to the long expanse of pavement. A simple running bond perpendicular to the line of travel minimizes the possibility of long, wavy joint lines and recreates the character of an old wooden boardwalk.

The brick pavers were laid on a granular base and sand setting bed. Edges were restrained with poured concrete curbs, walls and pavement. Weep holes below the granular base allow any water trapped under the pavers to drain through the two-foot, concrete cap and into the gravel below it.

New light fixtures, cast-iron bollards, and a large ship chain were added to the waterside edge of the dike. Small utility buildings for the marina were re-sided and re-roofed. Access gates to the marina docks were replaced, utilities hidden, and trees planted. As a result, the first phase of development at Lakeside Landing is complete and welcoming visitors to view the beautiful sunsets visible from this renovated dike.

In 2008, the Lorain Port Authority was awarded $3.368 million dollars in federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund this project.

The lead/civil engineer on this project was Bramhall Engineering & Surveying Company Inc.; the electrical engineer was TranSystems; the contractor was Marous Brothers Construction; and construction administration was performed by the City of Lorain Engineering Department/Ohio Department of Transportation.

Sunset at the East Peir in Lorain: considerable thought was given to the size of the paver, its pattern, and its color range.
Considerable thought was given to the size of the paver, its pattern, and its color range.

Redeveloping With Clay Pavers

Affordable installation and ease of maintenance convince an Ohio town to repave with permeable clay pavers.

Photo: Pine Hall Brick

Affordable installation and ease of maintenance convince an Ohio town to repave with permeable clay pavers.Visitors to New Albany, Ohio find themselves in a classic small town: miles of white horse fencing and beautiful brick homes lead to a downtown city center. There, a new brick road is carrying more than traffic.

Made of Pine Hall Brick’s StormPave® permeable clay pavers, the new Third Street enables stormwater to infiltrate and recharge the water table instead of washing pollutants across the surface into nearby storm drains or waterways. It’s made of clay brick pavers that are naturally green because they’re made of clay and water, the most abundant building materials on the planet; and because brick pavers last for centuries, they are an example of naturally sustainable construction.

But more than that, planners found that it cost virtually the same to put in a permeable paver street as it would have for a conventional asphalt street. The story began when city officials determined that Third Street needed to be totally reconstructed. The city decided to find out if there was something that would be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than asphalt.

To put in a conventional street would require new asphalt, conventional curb inlets and underground storm sewer piping – as well as patching and other maintenance in the years to come. Permeable paver systems require that layers of graded aggregates be hauled to the site and layered for the base, large to small, before the pavers are installed. Once in, the smallest aggregate is swept in the joints. The only required maintenance is that the pavers be vacuumed occasionally to remove debris that would otherwise clog the system.

The bottom line? The costs of putting in permeable pavers came in at $424,389. The estimates for putting in asphalt including five years of maintenance was at $427,718; maintaining it for 10 years raised it to $434,085.

Pine Hall Brick's affordable and easily maintained permeable clay pavers were chosen for a repaving project in New Albany, Ohio.

Using permeable pavers goes beyond cost. Brick streets have an aesthetic appeal to many potential residents – and their use often negates the need for additional stormwater retention. Businesses planning new developments near the Village Center will therefore have fewer stormwater issues to engineer as a result of New Albany’s stormwater mitigation strategy, of which Third Street is a part, town officials said in a prepared statement.

Another advantage?

“These new pavers will drain better, producing less ice on the surface,” said Public Service Director Mark Nemec. “Plus, brick streets typically calm traffic, so we expect a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians alike.”

 

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