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ROW Favors Preserving Brick Streets
Posted on Nov 13th, 2016

As part of the input, former ROW Mayor, Sylvia Kochler and George Edwards, Executive Director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation, formed a study group to develop a list of recommendations for maintaining and removing asphalt from some of the brick streets. The group found that maintaining brick streets requires significant upfront investment, but brick streets are more cost effective over the long run. A properly laid brick street can last more than 150 years with little maintenance, while a similarly traveled asphalt street lasts only 10 to 15 years. 
The ROW/HWF "Comprehensive Preservation Policy for Wilmington's Streets paved with Historic Materials" contains the following essential provisions: 

1.  The broadest possible requirement that Wilmington's brick streets, both those that are exposed and those covered with asphalt, be preserved;

2.  A 20 year plan to repair and restore the City's brick streets that includes: renewing 5 year work schedules to replace asphalt patches with brick, remove asphalt overlays, and re-do brick street foundations where necessary; criteria for prioritizing the repair and restoration of brick streets; and designated funding for brick streets in City budgets; 

3. Provision for an adequate supply of historic pavers, including salvage requirements, and an adequate supply of appropriate new substitute pavers for use when sufficient historic pavers are not available; 

4. Requirements that brick and asphalt covered brick streets be properly repaired with, and to the greatest extent possible restored to, brick in the event of a utility cut or other disturbance; and  

5. Appropriate oversight of repairs and other changes to brick or asphalt covered brick streets, for instance, through a permitting process and by the Historic Preservation Commission. 
Prior to its submission to the City, the Working Group's proposal was reviewed and approved by ROW's Board, HWF's Board, and HWF's Urban Properties and Preservation Action Committee.
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