Historically Main Street had wood plank sidewalks that transitioned into concrete sidewalks decades ago which exists today. A logical progression of history would allow a more durable material that is conservatively stated as to not detract from the beauty of the historic buildings that face Main Street. Each of the options considered to date have Granite Pavers. While analyzing the pavers that have historically been used in Park City the design group noted an overall deterioration of concrete and clay pavers. Granite paving was recommended as a more durable material that would bring a quality experience for the users of Main Street as long as the colors were conservative (gray/earth tones) allowing the historic buildings to be the focus of user’s attention. Granite also provides a greater sense of place and a quality environment. Granite has a life span of at least 50 years compared to concrete that will start showing wear within the first couple of years of installation. Granite pavers will be dry set on sand allowing for easy maintenance should a paver get chipped or damaged. The Council specified that the granite must be sourced from within the U.S.
The “look and feel” of the granite is also very important. The longevity of the granite adds to the appearance. Although granite will require some resetting it will maintain its looks throughout its lifespan which may be well beyond 50 years. As mentioned above the concrete will crack and heave detracting from the look, feel and even function of the walking surface.
The City Council gave support for the granite pavers is based primarily on design and look and feel, and sustainable design considerations that are balanced with budget impact. Based on three independent studies the granite curb has been found to be more cost effective than concrete curb. The granite curb while having a higher initial cost outlasts concrete by a minimum of 2.5 times. Concrete curb (especially high back) does not hold up to the damage caused by snow plows and only has a 10 year lifespan. Even after a few years the snow plow damage is evident and does not look good.
Granite paving is similar to the granite curb in that the product will last 50+ years. Granite curb and paving is very sustainable in that it is reusable whereas concrete is only recyclable although much will wind up in the landfill when any subsurface work is performed. Granite can also be reset if there is any heaving or settling whereas the concrete either needs to be ground down, affecting the appearance, or the concrete needs to be replaced if badly cracked.
The concrete band around the granite pavers will also help at the transition to some of the doorways. Because the banding will be tied to the slab under the granite heaving between the pavement types should be minimized. Also the banding will be in smaller jointed squares which should reduce cracking.