Orange sidewalk (photo enhanced)
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A new brown paver sidewalk installed last year on Sixth Street at the Muhammad Ali Center has turned orange. The sidewalk has rusted (or at least is coated in rust). The orange color has been building up as water bubbling out of a standpipe next to the Ali Center runs down the sidewalk and onto the street.

Orange sidewalk
Orange sidewalk. (Branden Klayko / Broken Sidewalk)

We suspect the pipe is connected to the building’s geothermal system as the wells are located nearby. In some cases, geothermal systems will use water to lubricate the water pumps and can off-put a rusty residue. We’re not sure what can be done to solve the matter, short of relocating the pipe to a drain.

The orange color is really bright (although not quite as bright as the photo above) and offers an interesting contrast on the sidewalk. In some areas of the orange sidewalk, the rust has has taken on the pattern of flowing water and offers a rich texture. In other areas, though, the flowing water has removed sand under the pavers and caused a small patch to become uneven.

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Branden Klayko

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