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07-28-22 | News

Great Street Streetscape, Burlington, VA

di Stefano Landscaping
by Staff

This project was a unique and technically challenging undertaking for our team. Our scope of work included three main components each with their own sets of challenges:
1. Street Trees planted using a soil cell system to provide an environment for these trees to thrive as they mature.
2. Permeable pavers to help minimize runoff and pollution of Lake Champlain.
3. Paver Crosswalks installed over a bituminous asphalt setting bed using a neoprene adhesive.

All three of these items require a team that is committed to a high level of attention to detail and an ability to execute an installation based on intricately detailed plans and specifications.

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We accomplished this amid a start and stop project that was slated to be finished in April 2019 but took five months longer due to obstacles along the way outside of our control. The result is a beautiful and thriving streetscape that is appreciated and enjoyed by residents and visitors to downtown Burlington.

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The street trees required the construction of plastic forms to help minimize compaction of soils under sidewalks and curbs, ultimately giving the roots of the trees and other plantings room to grow and mature. Each cell location was specified on the plan and had to be installed at the correct elevation to allow room for the other necessary infrastructures. Then planting soil was installed over a geotextile root barrier to help keep the soil from migrating out and the roots from negatively impacting the surrounding structures. The large 3.5" caliper trees where properly transported and then planted within this system at the exact height specified making sure that root flares were exposed. Two years later and the tree are all thriving.

The permeable pavers required installation of specified aggregates clear of any soil or stone fines that could inhibit the system to work at it's peak potential. There were at total of 25 individual sections of pavers spreading throughout the project. The installation required the paver sections to meet with the existing grades of the sidewalks, curbs and rows which made for a challenge as the team established the elevation and layout of setting bed. The paver installation required precise cutting around bike racks, post and poles. The system was finished with the sweeping in of #8 aggregate between the pavers allowing water to flow freely into the open aggregate below.

The clay brick paver walkways were installed using a herringbone pattern which provides the best dispersal of tire pressure to protect the integrity of the installation. The specification required the installation of bituminous asphalt which is hot and sticks to every service making it very difficult to work with. The team carefully spread and leveled the bituminous setting bed across the road. Unlike a sand setting bed, there is little to no room for adjusting the elevation of the paver after this step, making laser sharp accuracy a must for a successful installation. The pavers where then placed using the neoprene adhesive, another messy, sticky and unforgiving product. It does not wash off of tools, clothes or pavers.

Once the dust settled and the road was opened back up the project looks beautiful and was installed to last many years in the future.


The upcoming Streetscapes Issue of Landscape Architect and Specifier News saw many firms submit their projects for feature consideration. This project was not chosen for a Feature in the issue, but we at LandscapeArchitect.com thought the project deserved to be showcased online . . .

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