Over 10 million gallons of storm water run-off and potential pollutants will be managed each year upon completion of the multiple phases of large-scale green infrastructure installations at the Onondaga Commons Urban Revitalization Initiatives in Syracuse, New York.
These exciting projects, now in the second phase of construction, amount to the largest privately pursued green infrastructure efforts under Onondaga County’s award winning “Save the Rain” program. These efforts are also a component of the largest lake remediation in the entire world and have resulted in the United States Environmental Agency naming Onondaga County as one of the country’s top 10 leaders in green infrastructure innovation.
Located within the Midland Sewer district, the 6-acre Onondaga Commons campus was one of the largest contributors of storm water run-off in the area due to its large concentration of impervious parking and roof surfaces. Working in partnership with the Onondaga County Green Infrastructure Fund, Syracuse-based developer Short Enterprises spearheaded the efforts to secure over a million dollars in grant funding that is allowing the team at Onondaga Commons to embark on the noteworthy mission to minimize pollution reaching Onondaga Lake through combined sewer overflow. Short is collaborating with local engineering firm Natural Systems Engineering on these noteworthy efforts.
“These groundbreaking efforts at the Onondaga Commons reflect the true power of public/private partnerships in pursuing innovative solutions to complex challenges in our community like preventing raw sewage from overflowing into Onondaga Lake,” said W. Michael Short of Syracuse-based Short Enterprises. “Dynamic collaborations with Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse, among others, have ensured the forward momentum of these projects and we are so pleased to be making a positive contribution for the benefit of the entire Central New York community.”
– W. Michael Short of Short Enterprises
In Phase One, approximately 21,500 sq. ft. of parking surface was replaced with a porous asphalt surface and underlying infiltration basin. Runoff from the surface parking lot as well as building downspouts are now being absorbed by the new permeable pavement, evading collection by the sewer system.
With construction set to begin this week on phase two, focus will shift to the western border of the Onondaga Commons campus along Slocum Avenue. Approximately 26,000 sq. ft. of pavement will be replaced with permeable surface and adjoining infiltration basin. Construction on phase two is expected to take 2-3 weeks.
Subsequent phases of construction, slated to begin early next year, will address the remaining impervious parking and roof surfaces spread across the 8 parcels and 5 building structures that make up the Onondaga Commons. Onondaga Commons also is proposing the incorporation of a groundbreaking rain-water harvesting system as well as innovative technologies to successfully manage combined sewer overflow events that pollute our water bodies.
Check back for more updates on the work being done at Onondaga Commons to keep our city healthy and sustainable!