The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA), owner, developer, and operator of U.S. Cellular Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago White Sox, has unveiled an environmentally friendly parking lot at the facility on the south side of Chicago. Featuring a permeable paving surface, parking lot “L” is situated south of the stadium and covers more than 265,000ft2.
The system interlocks 12-square-ft blocks of prefabricated pavement. Implanted on a bed of gravel, individual bricks are pieced together in sections, leaving a ¼-in. space between them. The space between the bricks is then filled with ground bits of asphalt that act as a filter for rainwater, which flows through a geotextile fabric into a 14-in. base and naturally back into the ecosystem.
Perri Irmer, chief executive officer of the ISFA, estimated a 12-15% cost savings compared to a traditional asphalt parking lot treatment. The permeable pavement lasts twice as long as traditional asphalt, Irmer added, and it “requires far less maintenance than a traditional paving system.” Other benefits to the local community and surrounding areas include less localized flooding, decreasing stormwater runoff, recharging the groundwater system, and reducing urban heat-island effects.