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Plastic grids are an alternative pavement, consisting of a durable interlocking plastic grid filled with gravel, earth, or seeded with grass. The grid is very porous, allowing for high rates of infiltration (up to 3 ft/hr), and the modular plastic cells can reduce erosion and wear on gravel and grass pathways. Due to the flexibility of the grid components, plastic grids can be used on sites with uneven terrain, though maximum slope ranges from 6 – 12% due to traction limitations.
Regular maintenance is typically low. Vegetated grids will need to be mowed and may need irrigation and occasional reseeding, while non-vegetated grids may need to be refilled with gravel or crushed rock. Vacuuming may be necessary to maintain high permeability. Plastic grids can be easily added onto existing paving, though care should be taken to ensure that high volumes of runoff are not directly routed from adjacent impervious areas onto the grid, as sediment can quickly clog the void spaces. Plastic grids are often made from recycled materials. Load bearing capacities range from 24,000 lb/sq ft. to 823,680 lbs/sq ft.
Potential regulatory touchpoints in Boston and Massachusetts include: