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Southeast Atlanta Suburbs Install Four Miles of Permeable Roadways
Stormwater Management in The American South


Three Atlanta suburbs began reshaping their stormwater management capabilities five years ago by installing bioswales, stormwater ponds and perhaps the nation's largest permeable roadway project. Belgard supplied the permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP). PICPs are installed with layers of varying-sized stone or aggregate underneath, which filter and direct stormwater where it's wanted.
Photo Courtesy of ICPI

Three suburban neighborhoods in Atlanta (Mechanicsville, Peoplestown and Summerhill) have been upgraded to improve their stormwater management capabilities. The city's efforts include stormwater ponds, a bioretention park and what is said to be the nation's largest permeable paving project. A natural drainage point of a 1,500-acre watershed served the city well for many years, mitigating the impact of the highly impervious paving of downtown Atlanta.

A series of storms five years ago, however, flooded parts of southeast Atlanta. Once the waters receded, the city establishment of the Southeast Atlanta Green Infrastructure Initiative, which included more than four miles of permeable interlocking concrete pavers.

According to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, this comprehensive solution will result in the management of about 24 million gallons of runoff. The first phase of the project began with cleaning up all inlets, raising curbs, and installing bioswales and rain gardens on city properties. These efforts resulted in 350,000 gallons of capacity relief.

Currently in development, the last phase of the project will mitigate eight million gallons through the construction of a combined sewer vault, capacity relief ponds and a community park to be constructed in Peoplestown in areas that sustained the heaviest flooding. The city is working with homeowners to acquire these properties at fair market value, plus an additional percentage to compensate for relocation. Although most of the neighborhood's inhabitants had to relocate to accommodate the stormwater mitigation improvements, one 94-year-old resident who had lived in her home her entire life was allowed to remain.

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February 17, 2019, 5:09 pm PST

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