Oswego Community Development Awarded $330k Water Quality Improvement Grant for Route 48 Green Gateway Project

OSWEGO, NY –  Stormwater from Oswego’s west side sewer will be redirected to bioswales and tree plantings on State Route 48/ West First Street with a grant awarded by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a Water Quality Improvement Program.

The city of Oswego Community Development Office applied for the grant in December 2013.

Joseph Martens, commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, congratulated Mayor Tom Gillen for the project award of $330,000 for the $414,312 project last week.

Oswego’s Route 48 Green Gateway project will address runoff from 4.58 acres of highly impervious commercial and transportation related land, replacing a portion of existing sidewalks with porous concrete sidewalks.

Tree plantings and bioretention swales will be installed on both sides of West First Street from West Albany to Ellen Street.

Additionally, curb cuts will be installed to direct stormwater to the vegetated areas.

Existing impervious surfaces will be replaced with systems to absorb excessive stormwater.

The project will reduce the volume and treat the stormwater, reducing nitrogen, phosphorus, salt and sediment from entering storm sewers and preventing polluted water from discharging into the Oswego River.

Oswego’s project competed well because the target area is located in a Brownfield Opportunity Area, a Main Street area, and is part of the Waterfront Revitalization Area in Oswego’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

It is also consistent with greening the city’s infrastructure as recommended in Oswego’s 2020 Strategic Comprehensive Plan.

Reducing stormwater volume reduces the city’s electric bill by pumping less wastewater to the treatment plant.

Bioretention swales are landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water.

They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than six percent) and are filled with vegetation, compost and/or riprap.

The water’s flow path is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, trapping pollutants and silt.

Biological factors contribute to the breakdown of certain pollutants.

Five bioretention swales and 32 new trees are planned for the West First Street/Route 48 corridor to redirect stormwater away from the combined sewer system into the Green Gateway streetscaping.

The city of Oswego is a New York State Climate Smart Community and is committed to the Cleaner Greener Communities Program.

Oswego’s proposal for the WQIP grant was supported by the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board with special assistance and analysis including a production load model by Kathleen Bertuch. Streetscape Plans were developed by Oswego Engineer’s Office Robert Johnson in conjunction with GHD Engineering.

The proposal was also supported by the Environmental Finance Center, Assemblyman Barclay and State Senator Patty Ritchie.

Project bidding and construction are anticipated in 2015 pending execution of grant contracts.

For more information, call the Community Development Office at 343-3795.