That's how I read this article about porous friction course, a porous asphalt alternative that is being tested out by VDOT. This came to my attention through this FLS article, but was actually reported last month in the Washington Post. In the article, VDOT spokesman was quoted
"Noise barriers are expensive, not to mention some people don't like the look of
them," said McGhee, referring to the walls that line highways near residential
areas. Such barriers can cost $2 million to $3 million per mile.
Now I'm angry, VDOT care's more about some snot complaining about noise after they CHOSE to build their house next to a roadway, than the benefits of using porous surfaces to prevent environmental disaster. If VDOT incurs expenses of 2-3M per mile of noise barrier, they should turn around and bill the developers. One caveat, if a new road is constructed next to existing houses, then I'm all for those barriers being part of the deal (look at what might be happening here with the Rappahannock Parkway, and a link here for a picture).
I know some readers like to see data to ensure benefits are real, so here is a link to a study on particulate conentrations in stormwater before and after the use of P.F.C. It sure would be nice if there were some incentives to using this stuff for parking lots in the area. It will also be interesting to see what VDOT's five year studies show for the improved bonding compounds and whether they can withstand wear and tear as expected.
[10pm update] A commenter also suggested this link for the Potomac River watershed stormwater runoff analysis:
I'm getting more and more concerned that actions today to 'wait and see' are risking huge future borrowing in order to fund corrections to major environmental impacts for either my generation, or my son's generation.