Department of Public Works

Stormwater Friendly Sidewalk

As part of the State of Vermont, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation's Ecosystem Restoration Program’s annual competitive grant process, a Project Selection Committee has awarded the City of Burlington a grant of $11,890 to implement a Stormwater Sidewalk. This pilot project will serve to reduce stormwater flows to the combined sewer system that drains to the Burlington Main Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and ultimately improve the quality of water that discharges to Lake Champlain.    Moreover, this project will provide the City the opportunity to develop a standard stormwater friendly sidewalk design that could be used in other areas of the City.

Due to the high pedestrian loading, sidewalks in downtown Burlington, VT are frequently made of completely impervious surface extending from the curb line to the building front. In places where vegetated green belts do exist, vegetation often fails due to trampling and ends up being a source of stormwater runoff (due to compaction), including being a generator of sediment and phosphorus loading. Through this project, the City will implement a design which leverages the need for an aesthetically pleasing, safe pedestrian travel-way while also providing for self-contained stormwater management of this functional surface by creating a “stormwater belt.” This stormwater belt will provide stormwater reduction from an area that would otherwise be paved, and would also allow for infiltration of stormwater from the sidewalk surface before it reaches the roadway and the collection system.

The stormwater sidewalk will be implemented on the west side of South Winooski between King and Maple (see map below). 

The design of the sidewalk is in the final stages and includes the use of permeable interlocking concrete pavers which provide for a stable surface but also allow stormwater runoff to reach the soil below.  Additionally the City will be replanting the trees that were removed last year, and will be using technology that allows for the new trees to have adequate soil amounts that will support long term tree health.

Construction is slotted to occur this summer, after June 1, 2015.  For more information about this, and other Stormwater program projects, please contact Megan Moir (mmoir@burlingtonvt.gov)