Third Street in New Albany, Ohio, was in such poor condition that resurfacing the road would have been nothing more than putting a bandage on a broken bone, according to Civil Engineer News. The next logical option would be to completely rip up the street and lay new asphalt, but that's not what the town wanted to do.
Senior landscape architect Franco Manno told the source that the town explored "bioretention, rain gardens, pervious pavement and other green infrastructure options." Finally, the group decided that going green by laying red clay bricks was the best option.
"When we found out Third Street needed to be totally reconstructed, we wondered if we could do something more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional asphalt," village administrator Joe Stefanov said in a statement. "It turned out we could, while staying under budget. Initial brick construction was only slightly more expensive than asphalt, and we expect maintenance and operational costs to be significantly reduced over the lifetime of the project."
The permeable clay bricks are made of simply dirt and water, which are two resources the planet is certainly not short on. In addition to cheap manufacturing costs, clay bricks can be easily recycled and last for centuries, according the CE News. The pavers are eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, because of the innovative stormwater design, heat island effect, and their use of recycled content and locally produced goods.
One of the more interesting features of the bricks is that they allow for pollutants in water to seep into the soil beneath where they can be naturally filtered out. Traditional asphalt pavement pools water into drainage systems that eventually end up contaminating local water sources.