The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District that serves the Cleveland area will allocate $650,000 of state funds for a grant program to pay private developers to use green elements for managing increased stormwater runoff from a road project. The sewer board also allocated $250,000 to build green infrastructure to help absorb rainwater throughout its area.
The district previously set aside $3 billion for “Project Clean Lake,” a federally mandated program to reduce rainwater and sewage that empty into Lake Erie. The district had been criticized for giving just minimal consideration to potentially less-costly and more aesthetically pleasing green solutions to stormwater runoff.
The district’s intent to use natural features to absorb stormwater reflects an urban trend that other cities including Philadelphia and Detroit have embraced.
In Cleveland, the green approach will be used to mitigate runoff from the $331 million Opportunity Corridor that will connect Interstate 490 with University Circle. The road expansion will require demolition of four homes and three businesses, and is expected to produce 600,000 gallons of runoff.