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Quail Street going green

February 19, 2015

by Ariana Wilson

The Quail Street Green Infrastructure Project, a new underground filtration system to help water removal in the sewers, goes out for bidding tomorrow- allowing contracting companies to propose their plans.

The project planning team presented their plans to the Pine Hill Neighborhood Association on Thursday night at LaSalle School. The team discussed the science behind the project and the benefits this project will provide both the community and environment.

Mary Millus (left) explains the Quail St. Green Infrastructure Project/ Ariana Wilson

Mary Millus (left) explains the Quail St. Green Infrastructure Project/ Ariana Wilson

The project will run up Quail Street from Central Avenue to Elderon Place The objective of this project is to replace impermeable road asphalt with a material that will allow water to pass through and collect in a reservoir underground. This collection will slowly drain into the sewage system instead of the abrupt flow that it now faces, which causes the sewage system to overflow. The water will be collected in two- to-three feet deep compartments and then will drain slowly, said Michael Miller, MHA consultant.   She said there are other benefits to the new infrastructure.

This will not only help the sewage systems in the long run, but also help the Hudson River, according to Mary Millus, a senior planner for the city.

“The water goes through a corridor that allows for natural filtration,” said Millus. The water will be sieved as it passes through permeable layers of soil and membranes. This dilutes the amount of pollution that is put back into the environment after rain and runoff are collected in the underground compartments.

Another component of this project is the addition of “urban rain gardens” that will be featured on all of Quail Street’s biggest intersections including at the intersections at Washington, Western, and Central avenus. Trees and plants will also be aligned down Quail, marking the boundaries of the green infrastructure project. These trees will not only serve the purpose of creating a better “quality of life” atmosphere for Quail Street, but also be an active part of pedestrian safety, according to Ian Law, representative from Place Alliance, exterior design.

“Aesthetically the trees provide defensible space between pedestrians and drivers,” said Law. Without them, he said, “drivers feel they have more room and can go faster.” The trees will also be limbed, he said, which means their branches will be pruned high enough so people can’t stand behind them- eliminating the fear of muggings.

William Simcoe (left), Deputy Commissioner, and Ian Law (right), Place Alliance representative, giving their presentation on the Quail St. Green Infrastructure Project/ Ariana Wilson

William Simcoe (left), Deputy Commissioner, and Ian Law (right), Place Alliance representative, giving their presentation on the Quail St. Green Infrastructure Project/ Ariana Wilson

William Simcoe (left), Deputy Commissioner, and Ian Law (right), Place Alliance representative, giving their presentation on the Quail St. Green Infrastructure Project/ Ariana Wilson

The purpose of the rain gardens is to look good but also be easily maintained, Law added. Because of this, the trees and plants that they anticipate to grow are resistant to both rain and drought.

“Day lilies and Hostas will probably go under the trees because they are low maintenance but still look nice,” Law said.

 

Miller also addressed the issue of roots emerging from under the sidewalk. Typically the amount of space that trees are given to grow in a plotted area is 5 feet by 5 feet, Miller said, but these trees will be given a 10 feet by 20 feet plot. Another benefit of the plotted trees is the special, high nutrient, soil they will be planted in, which will keep the roots well-nourished so they won’t need to go under the sidewalk for resources.

A contract for the work is expected to  be signed by April 1 and the project should be completed by the summer of 2016, Miller said.

“I think it’s a fabulous project and I’m very happy we got the money to go through with it,” said Virgina Hammer, president of the Pine Hills neighborhood association.” -30-

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