Launch Slideshow

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Curb appeal

Curb appeal

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Deck the streets

“Everybody likes to have that added quality that dresses up the roadway a little,” says Bob Astrella, senior civil engineer with the Boston Public Works Department. “As long as it doesn't require extra maintenance.” Boston's an old city that attracts a lot of tourists, so streets and sidewalks have high traffic. Add the universal problem of a shrinking workforce and budget, and the department finds itself in the position of making every dollar—and material—count. Astrella has turned to DuraTherm from Blaine, Wash.-based Integrated Paving Concepts Inc. for the city's upscale, non-residential streetscapes. It's a thermoplastic that's inlaid into imprinted asphalt and installed flush for minimal wear and tear and no tripping hazards. “We like its durability,” says Astrella. “Plus, we can get in there fast and install it, and it pretties up the street without distracting drivers.” Although Astrella says concrete pavers with edging can do the job just as well, pavers cost more than asphalt texturing.