North St. Paul Green Streets
This project will replace a conventional 32 foot wide neighborhood street with a narrowed 22 -24 foot wide street that will include rain gardens, sidewalk, and boulevard trees. North St. Paul is using the term Living Streets to describe a new type of street that will eventually replace most of the city's existing streets. Living streets are narrower and have less pavement than existing streets. Reducing the width of existing streets reduces construction costs and assessments to residents. It allows room for the installation of rainwater gardens to treat stormwater. Where there is a need, bike trails and sidewalks may be installed.
Unlike existing streets that are only designed for cars, living streets are designed with rainwater gardens and street-side trees to remove pollutants from stormwater before the water enters area lakes. Narrower streets and street-side trees also slow traffic, creating a safe environment for everyone. Bike trails and sidewalks make it easy for all residents to exercise and connect with neighbors.
The Living Streets approach will result in dramatic reductions in stormwater runoff volume and nutrient loading for downstream water resources. The demonstration project will provide a local example of the street design intended to be used throughout the street replacement program in North St. Paul over the next 30 years. The District hopes this demonstration project will also encourage additional cities in the District to adopt this approach.
Construction is intended to begin in June, 2011 and be substantially completed in October, 2011 with final restoration in spring of 2012.
(b) $2,800,000 the first year and $3,124,000 the second year are for grants to watershed districts and watershed management organizations for: (i) structural or vegetative management practices that reduce storm water runoff from developed or disturbed lands to reduce the movement of sediment, nutrients, and pollutants or to leverage federal funds for restoration, protection, or enhancement of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams and to protect groundwater and drinking water; and (ii) the installation of proven and effective water retention practices including, but not limited to, rain gardens and other vegetated infiltration basins and sediment control basins in order to keep water on the land. The projects must be of long-lasting public benefit, include a local match, and be consistent with TMDL implementation plans or local water management plans. Watershed district and watershed management organization staff and administration may be used for local match. Priority may be given to school projects that can be used to demonstrate water retention practices. Up to five percent may be used for administering the grants. (2011 - Runoff Reduction)
This grant was originally approved to fund a North St. Paul Living Street demonstration project. After the project began, the North St. Paul City Council decided not to continue with the improvements. The Ramsey Washington District staff approached the City of Maplewood to see if the City would incorporate the Living Street objectives into their 2012 improvement project. The City approved the proposal and worked the Living Street objectives in Bartelmy-Meyer Project. As a result, 33 rain gardens were installed which will reduce 11.6 lbs. of phosphorus per year in addition to a annual volume reduction of .35 acre-feet per year.