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City may add concrete paver option for neighborhoods
pavers rip

Interlocking concrete permeable pavers — such as those used in downtown Ripon as well as number of that city’s residential streets — could provide Manteca with a way to reduce long-term street maintenance costs.

The potential use of such pavers is being incorporated into an upgrade of street standards that is now being tackled by city staff in a bid to assure longer pavement life and potentially lower maintenance costs.

If pavers are proposed as part of the street standards and adopted by the council future developers would have the option of using them instead of asphalt for streets in new neighborhoods.

Ripon street paver projects as well as a pavers on Howard Road — a route with heavy truck traffic in Wesley off Interstate 5 — have been cited by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute as two examples of how pavers hold up much better in the long haul and therefore have lower lifetime costs than asphalt.

Based on a 2018 city staff report  asphalt or concrete is less expensive to install  — $45 per square yard as opposed to concrete pavers at $68 per yard. But over an equal life cycle the asphalt approach the city currently uses is significantly higher. The long-term maintenance costs for asphalt or concrete is $66 a square yard as opposed to $12 for concrete pavers, based on the previous analysis.

That means over the same time period, it costs a city $80 a square yard to install and maintain interlocking concrete pavers as opposed to $111 for asphalt or traditional concrete pavement the $31 per square yard savings is significant.

The cost savings was the driving force for elected leaders in Ripon adopting interlocking concrete pavement as a roadway standard for 1.3 million square feet of new residential streets constructed between 2005 and 2008. The higher cost of the pavers was transferred to buyers of new homes.

In terms of the 5,555 square yards of pavers on downtown Ripon streets, that city of 17,000 will avoid $172,222 in maintenance costs over the life cycle of the streets.

Advantages of using pavers the besides lower overall costs are:

*simplified utility trenching as pavers can be replaced seamlessly unlike when asphalt has been ripped up and then replaced to access buried sewer, water, storm, power, natural gas, cable, and telephone lines.

*reduced storm water runoff as the permeable design allows some water to percolate into the ground. That provides additional benefits in less storm water that can add to flooding concerns as well as avoiding some of the costly solutions the federal government is requiring for storm water run-off in the coming years.

*proven results of being able to hold up on heavily traveled streets and frontage roads.

*various sources cite pavers as being significantly less susceptible to potholes as well as greatly reducing or eliminating issues associated with buckling and cracks developing.

Manteca is approaching 480 lane miles of streets that it is struggling to find adequate funding to maintain.

A status report of the staff work on upgrading street standards that will also include roundabouts was presented to the City Council last week.

Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu said he’d like to see the updated standards include an option for 40-foot wide residential streets.

Smart growth advocates note the narrower streets effectively reduce speed, cut the amount of heat that is reflected that impacts the cost of cooling homes in the summer, and reduces long-term maintenance costs.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email