Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Monday, July 19, 2010
It's Quite Simple Really
Now, there seems to be a clinker in the bricks. The state engineer notified the town recently that the contract for the sidewalks specifically mentions a plain grey sidewalk at the common, and anything else will either increase the price, or pass the maintenance of the sidewalks to to the town, or both.
What happened? Wasn't everyone on the same page?
To have a bit of a decorative accent on the sidewalks at the town common if fine, but cost must be considered, and maintenance as well. Of all the options offered from stamped resin on asphalt to real bricks, to stamped concrete, the stamped concrete is the best.
For years I worked with "Boston City Hall Paver" bricks I had placed around my pool. The weather moved them about, lifted them, and made hollows in the deck. I lifted them out one by one, added, or subtracted sand, and tapped each one in over and over again for years. Lots of maintenance, lots of work, lots of swearing. Real brick walkways just require constant maintenance.
Now, a concrete walkway with either an accent strip, or the entire walkway stamped with a brick pattern will stay put. It won't require the maintenance of real brick, and will visually give the eye the soft, "period" touch the designer(s) is looking for. There area few benefits to this: 1) it will not cost as much as using real brick, 2) it will last longer than resin covered asphalt, and 3) it will not affect the maintenance of the sidewalk. It will still be concrete.
Some communities actually use this stamped concrete on their crosswalks as well.