Bridgeport, CT – Bridgeport Mayor Ganim joined the Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development (OPED) Tom Gill, Director of Planning Lynn Haig, and President of Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) Lauren Coakley Vincent today to break ground on a Main Street bioswale that will bring additional greenery and art to the Downtown area while providing an ecology-friendly rainwater filtration system.
“A bioswale not only alleviates the burden on our city’s sewer system but also adds permanent landscaping to our concrete downtown,” said Mayor Ganim. “This project improves the quality of life in the downtown area by revitalizing our urban cityscape, while making green advances and improving the pedestrian and visitor experience.”
Director of OPED Tom Gill said “OPED has created a standard design for an engineered right-of-way planting. Developed from best practices learned in New York City and New Haven, this new design is less expensive and more reliable than previous bioswales throughout the city. This implementation will have colorful plants and a decorative tile border, adding to the beauty of the downtown streetscape.”
The City of Bridgeport integrated community-engaged design work in the construction of the bioswale to showcase the talent of our local artists and give them opportunities to be engaged in the development of the city.
The design and Main Street implementation have been funded through a $50,000 grant from the Surdna Foundation and developed in partnership with UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) and Michael Singer Studio. DSSD will serve as project manager and oversee construction and bioswale preservation.
The bioswale will be designed to capture storm water runoff that currently flows into the street and storm drains. The bioswale will allow the water runoff to permeate directly into the ground, thereby avoiding the storm water system and freeing up capacity.