The sustainable groundwork has been laid on a new development in Tinley Park through funding and support of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to utilize permeable pavers to absorb more stormwater, mitigate flooding and educate the public on the value of green infrastructure.
The new permeable paver project on North Street, between Oak Park Avenue and 173rd Street, was unveiled by MWRD and Tinley Park officials, as part of the Harmony Square development near the Metra Station. The MWRD contributed $200,000 to fund 16,500 square feet of permeable pavers on North Street, replacing the existing asphalt with green infrastructure that will provide more than 69,000 gallons of stormwater storage on site. The brick pavers are not only inviting to rainwater but also an attractive space for the public. The unique pattern of pavers enhances the local aesthetics while also maximizing the stormwater benefit.
“North Street is now a green street, thanks to the commitment from Tinley Park leaders and residents who want to take a stand against flooding and build a more sustainable community,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “We thank Tinley Park for their partnership and look forward to building a resilient community gathering place.”
The paver project is part of a larger Harmony Square development that will feature a performance stage, artificial turf lawns, a splash pad and concessions stand, Tinley Park officials said. The permeable street is one of nearly 20 permeable pavement projects the MWRD has recently completed across Cook County in addition to 20 permeable schoolyards the MWRD is close to implementing throughout Chicago Public Schools with partners at Space to Grow.
"Our partnership with the MWRD has yielded a beautiful street that is both environmentally friendly and supportive of our new music brand," said Mayor Jacob C. Vandenberg. "The piano key crosswalks in particular will be a popular draw for residents and visitors alike."
Green infrastructure performs as a stormwater management tool designed to capture water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground before it would otherwise enter the traditional conveyance system. The MWRD partners with communities and public agencies throughout Cook County to fund and build green infrastructure projects, after holding a call for projects each year.
The completed green infrastructure projects will now provide up to 7 million gallons of stormwater runoff storage by using rain gardens, bioswales, and permeable pavement in parking lots, alleys and residential streets. This permeable infrastructure soaks up water, preventing it from flooding communities and running off into area waterways, and improving area water quality.
“Installing this critical green infrastructure at a prime location in Tinley Park will allow us to promote the importance of managing stormwater,” said MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos. “We take for granted the surface we walk over, but this community space will highlight the many ways we can work together to protect our water quality and reduce flooding.”
The MWRD is now currently reviewing addition green infrastructure project opportunities for 2019 after another successful call for proposals was recently held.