By Allison Maynard, Communications Associate
Congratulations to our sponsor Nitsch Engineering, for being selected to design green infrastructure improvements on Kennedy Street in Washington, D.C., as the winning streetscape entry in the DC Water Green Infrastructure Challenge design competition!
After being selected as one of the finalists in the planning and design phase of the competition, Nitsch Engineering’s team refined their design for Kennedy|Greened: A Neighborhood Green Street Project to include a variety of green infrastructure strategies for the 100 Block of Kennedy Street NW. A multi-agency evaluation panel selected the Nitsch Engineering team for demonstrating innovative, cost-effective, constructible, and replicable solutions to alleviate stormwater discharges to combined sewers, thus reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Rock Creek drainage area. Combined sewers, which carry both stormwater and sewage, can be found in most older cities in America.
The proposed streetscape improvements integrate a variety of landscape and stormwater strategies desgined to absorb stormwater before it enters the combined sewer system, including additional street trees, permeable pavers, landscape infiltration gaps, stormwater curb extensions, grated landscapes, and sub-surface storage/infiltration. Environmental art installations draw attention to these functional stormwater features, raising awareness of stormwater movement, treatment, and storage. The design further promotes “complete street” concepts by using curb bump-outs, sidewalk crossings, and boardwalks to create a streetscape that is safe and comfortable for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
“We anticipate that our plan for Kennedy Street will eliminate significant amounts of stormwater from entering the combined sewer system annually, improve water quality, and minimize urban heat island effects,” said Nicole Holmes, Nitsch Engineering’s Green Infrastructure Project Manager. “Just as important, our design will benefit the community by raising awareness and advocacy of green infrastructure, and by creating a shared street that is safer and more pleasant for all roadway users.”
Scott Turner, Nitsch Engineering’s Director of Planning, added, “One of the most exciting things about this project is that the strategies we’re implementing will serve as a model for what can be done anywhere to address CSOs and stormwater in roadways. Our design solutions from this project can be replicated throughout urban corridors across D.C., which will further address the district’s need to alleviate stormwater discharges to combined sewers.”