City Council hears developments on green infrastructure projects

Jiahao Huang/Staff

Related Posts

At its Tuesday special meeting, Berkeley City Council heard developments on an ongoing project to integrate green infrastructure throughout the city, in addition to pavement improvements.

Measure M, the policy that funds this development program, was approved by voters in 2012 and implemented by the council in fall 2013. The measure allocated $30 million to the city of Berkeley to spend over the course of five years for the repaving of certain streets and the implementation of green infrastructure, or natural solutions to climate challenges in urban areas.

According to city engineer Tracy Clay, there are 17 green infrastructure installations that have been planned by the city, four of which have been completed.

Among the four completed projects are the permeable pavers on Allston Way, in which interlocking concrete pavers cover 24 to 30 inches of space for water to be stored and filtered, and the construction of a bioswale at Presentation Park, in which surface runoff water is drained to flow to a nearby creek to prevent flooding, according to Clay.

“We were really happy Parks and Waterfront was so collaborative with us to build this site, one of the least expensive sites we constructed,” Clay said at the meeting, referring specifically to the Presentation Park construction.

Mayor Tom Bates, Councilmember Linda Maio and the majority of other council members praised the green infrastructure projects the city has accomplished so far as cost-effective.

Maio, however, expressed concern over whether these infrastructure designs could withstand drastic environmental changes, as the city moves between periods of high tide and heavy rainfall and drought spells.

According to Public Works deputy director Phil Harrington, the amount of water collected and released by the installations can be reworked to accommodate different types of weather patterns, such as redesigning the cisterns to collect and store water.

Apart from the 17 city-mandated installations, there will also be several private installations authorized by other agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Contact Harini Shyamsundar at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.