Progress made in Green Infrastructure Corridors

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2011 was the first full year of implementation of the Amended Consent Judgment’s (ACJ) 4th Stipulation, and it was a remarkable year. In April, Onondaga County, with the City of Syracuse, was named one of the country’s Top 10 leaders in green infrastructure by EPA, and became the EPA’s “Green Infrastructure Partner” in promoting innovative green approaches to managing stormwater. By the end of 2011 the County’s ‘Project 50’ green infrastructure (GI) campaign completed 30 GI projects along with another 30 under construction, including several high-profile signature projects such as the 60,000 square foot green roof system at the Onondaga County OnCenter complex (one of the nation’s largest green roofs) and an innovative water re-use system at the War Memorial Arena that converts captured stormwater into ice for the Syracuse Crunch AHL hockey team. In late 2011, the National Resources Defense Council included Onondaga County as a case study for green infrastructure implementation in its publication Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows.

Noticeably, construction of the 300 block of East Water Street GI corridor (formerly called Gateway), one of the two GI Corridor projects for which ASLF has produced conceptual designs, has been completed. This is the first GI corridor project that has been built. The design narrowed the street by having a designated parking lane while adding curb extensions (bulbouts) that form infiltration planters to capture stormwater. Pavers (pre-cast paving blocks) were used to surface the parking lane, and more infiltration planters run along the parking lane receiving runoff from the street and the sidewalk. The project was developed in conjunction with the private renovation of 323, 325, and 327 E. Water Street and is part of the long-term strategic vision for a green corridor along E. Water Street. The 2nd GI corridor project, West Onondaga Street Green Corridor, is under design phase assisted by ASLF and more GI corridor planning is on the way.

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