Brick Update

Update: 1/25/07

The bricks rated coverage in Today’s O.

Original Post: 1/15/07

A few months back, at the intersection of 6th & Taylor, TriMet installed some new sand-set pavers as a test for potentially using them in the Transit Mall reconstruction. A reader recently queried me on whether I knew how the test was going, and I forwarded the question on to TriMet. Here’s the response:

The installation at 6th & Taylor, as expected, has been doing very well. This ‘mock-up’ of the brick paver system was installed this past July so that bus and other traffic could interact with the system over time and through a variety of weather conditions.

Over this period we’ve had the opportunity to test how the design held up to heavy axle loading by buses, impacts to the system’s stability by underground utility work, and ability to affect repairs and maintenance within a functioning transit street. Additionally, the design has been evaluated by a host of public entities during this testing period.

While the brick paver system has performed admirably, we’ve already determined several modest adjustments that respond to recommendations for improving pedestrian movements, and to facilitate the actual construction of the Mall’s brick intersections. Working with the manufacturer the brick paver will reduce ‘bumpiness’ by using a tighter paver joint and reducing the paver’s edge chamfer.

Additionally, the slip-resistance of the pavers has been verified by an independent testing agency and exceeds the City’s and Federal recommendations. Another mock-up of the intersection’s pixilated circle led to using a third colored paver for improved visual clarity.

The mocked-up intersection will continued to be monitored until the actual Mall construction, but its clear that the new system will be much safer for all users of the Mall, more durable, easier to maintain, and aesthetically pleasing urban design treatment. The project intends to install this new system in the Central Mall, on 6th & 5th Avenues, south of Burnside to Market Street.

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