Exit133 is about Tacoma
Cheney Stadium project kicks off a new era of water pollution prevention
Trying to make paradise out of a parking lot might seem like a stretch, but the porous asphalt and other green infrastructure used to reconstruct Clay Huntington Way, the north entrance of Cheney Stadium formerly known as Cheyenne Street, are about as close to forests and fields as an urban area can get, at least from a stormwater perspective.
“By using green infrastructure we are soaking in and filtering rainwater on-site instead of it travelling many miles through pipes and collecting all sorts of pollution,” said City engineer Jessica Knickerbocker, who was the project manager for the Cheney Stadium Sustainable Stormwater Project. “Reducing the flow from this site by 72 percent has a huge impact downstream.”
It turned out to be cheaper, too. The low-impact development project cost approximately half of what an equivalent traditional stormwater system would cost, and is also projected to be less expensive to maintain.
The porous asphalt used for the roadway improves water quality and flow control by allowing rainwater to soak into the ground naturally. Part of the south parking lot also got an upgrade with porous asphalt and landscaping islands. Two rain gardens, low-maintenance plants and more than 100 new trees also help filter rainwater and keep it from carrying polluted runoff downstream. All of this helps to refill groundwater supplies and improve stormwater quality in Tacoma’s Flett Creek Watershed.
Greenroads Silver Certification
The Cheney Stadium Sustainable Stormwater Project was awarded a Greenroads Silver Certification, making Tacoma’s Clay Huntington Way the first Greenroad in Tacoma and the fourth in the world.
Greenroads is a sustainability rating system for roadway projects that encourages the use of holistic design and construction practices that are above and beyond conventional practice for environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
“Greenroads is very proud to present this Silver Award for the Cheney Stadium Sustainable Stormwater Project,” said Jeralee Anderson, Executive Director of Greenroads Foundation, who presented the certification to the City of Tacoma during a ceremony at Cheney Stadium in April. “The certification process is quite challenging and this achievement represents great effort from the City of Tacoma engineering staff and its design and construction team, KPG Inc. and Tucci & Sons.”
Other elements contributing to the project’s Greenroads Silver Certification include:
- A 10-foot-wide sidewalk and energy-efficient LED streetlights were added from 19th Street to the north ticket entrance at the ballpark to increase pedestrian safety.
- The roadway was widened, shared bicycle lane markings were added and bicycle racks were installed at the north ticket entrance.
- Electric car charging stations were installed in the north parking lot.
Other City of Tacoma projects working with Greenroads this year include reconstruction projects on Alaska Street, Wapato Lake Drive, Asotin Court and Pacific Avenue. “Tacoma is definitely leading the way for sustainability and is one of the Greenroads’ most enthusiastic and active participants,” said Jeralee Anderson.
“The City of Tacoma is proud to forge the way in keeping our waterways clean by pursuing green infrastructure wherever feasible,” said Councilmember Ryan Mello.
About Greenroads Foundation
Established in 2010, Greenroads Foundation is an independent 501©(3) nonprofit corporation which advances sustainability education and initiatives for transportation infrastructure. As the developer of the Greenroads Rating System, the Foundation manages the certification process for sustainable roadway and bridge construction projects in the United States and internationally. For more information, visit www.greenroads.org.
About Surface Water Management
Surface Water Management, part of Public Works Environmental Services, maintains the City of Tacoma’s stormwater system and works to prevent pollution before it reaches our waters, and restore sites already affected by industry and urbanization.