Stay in the Loop

Hey, Weren’t Those Streets Supposed To Be Brick?

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

Now that crews are finally laying down the first layers of asphalt on North Loop streets that have been torn up all summer, some residents are asking “weren’t these streets supposed to be paved with bricks?” And, “why did the city’s online updates refer to the need to remove ‘bad soil’?”

First, yes, some of these streets will be paved in bricks, but those bricks will be placed on top of six inches of asphalt. Crews just laid the first three inches today on 3rd Street. They will next pour the concrete curbs and parking bays before bringing in the brick pavers.

The bricks will be on three blocks of 3rd Street between 7th and 10th Avenues; on one block of 8th Avenue between 3rd Street and Washington; and on one block of 9th Avenue between 3rd Street and Washington.

Regarding the time-consuming process of removing “bad soil,” we’re told that the organic material that crews paved over in the 1930s included everything from dirt and leaves to sticks and horse manure, and it’s not nearly as compactable as what they use today. It would move and shift under the pavement. What they use today is soil mixed with sand and crushed concrete which compacts well.

The city has a website dedicated to the North Loop paving project and provides weekly updates there.