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Short, sweet—and cheap

Orange County cut permitting and construction costs using pervious pavement.

Lower permitting and construction costs allowed Orange County (Fla.) Roads and Drainage Division to install porous pavement for $50,000 per lane mile. It took only six to 18 months to pave a given road, which included developing a prioritized list of projects, obtaining permits, preparing the roads, and paving them under a continuing contract with Orlando Paving Co., Orlando, Fla., and Florida Highway Products, Bartow, Fla. Second, labor hours were reduced: Fewer holes have to be fixed after a rain event. The number of complaints for damaged dirt roads reduced significantly, allowing workers to focus on other areas during the rainy season.

The county also eliminated seven motor graders from its inventory, since dirt-road grading (which costs $8000 per mile per year) was no longer needed. It reduced training, maintenance, repair, and replacement costs for all heavy equipment used for grading and shaping dirt roads.

No employees were let go due to equipment changes; instead, they were reassigned.

Orange County paved almost 223 miles of dirt roads with its porous-paving program. The table shows annual funding allocations.