New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 16, 2019) – Rutgers expert Qizhong (George) Guo is available to comment on two new porous parking lots in a vulnerable area of Linden, N.J., that Superstorm Sandy inundated in October 2012.

The environmentally friendly lots are designed to help reduce flooding from storm surges, high tides and rainfall as part of an ongoing research project to help Americans cope with the impacts of climate change.

The low-lying Tremley Point area, which has about 275 homes, is bordered by flood-prone Marshes Creek and the tidal Rahway River, which flows into the Arthur Kill. Anything from storm surges to regular rainfall can cause flooding in the area.

“If a neighborhood floods, that usually means there was too much water rushing into the area for the drainage system to handle,” said Guo, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “If you can reduce the volume of rain runoff or slow it down, you will have less water flowing into a neighborhood and give that water more time to drain, resulting in less flooding.”

Construction of the two porous parking lots, which cover one acre and about half an acre, respectively, was completed in April, said Guo, who is affiliated with the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation. The lower third of the lots were made porous. Runoff moves toward the porous areas, with water seeping into a layer of gravel. This serves as an underground reservoir before the water eventually drains into an existing catch basin.

The porous pavement might also have other environmental benefits, such as filtering most solids. The porous parking lots are part of an ongoing $2 million-plus flood mitigation and ecosystem restoration project for Marshes Creek. The funding, awarded to Rutgers and the city of Linden, came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Department of the Interior following Sandy. The effort has led to rain gardens and other flood mitigation measures in the area.

Guo recently wrote an essay on mobile and green infrastructure for a Saving New Jersey from the Rising Tide package by Rutgers–New Brunswick.

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To interview Guo, contact Todd Bates at [email protected].


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