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Education and Outreach
(Milwaukee, WI) – Walk away with $5,000 if you or your team develops a top innovative idea for managing stormwater under freeway overpasses, areas of land often overlooked that could help reduce water pollution and, at the same time, provide a public benefit such as recreation.
The contest, funded by the Tellier Foundation, is focused on reducing and treating polluted stormwater runoff, the biggest remaining threat to rivers and lakes across the United States.
Each project team will develop 2 or 3 alternatives described in a memo, then further define a recommended plan which would include conceptual design drawing or visual, an estimate of construction cost, a construction schedule, a description of constructability issues, and a long-term maintenance plan memo.
Submittals will be judged by a four-person panel with representatives from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and the business community.
The kickoff meeting has been postponed. If you have any questions please call (414) 225-2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Challenge, a kick-off meeting will be held at MMSD (260 W. Seeboth Street, Milwaukee WI) at a future date in the fall. The three winning submittals will be asked to present a short 10-minute description of their proposal at MMSD after the award notification. The winning submittals will be posted on the MMSD Fresh Coast Resource Center website.
Changing weather patterns have resulted in shorter duration, higher intensity storms. In fact, the Midwest is experiencing the wettest period on record, and Milwaukee data shows the four highest annual rainfall amounts ever recorded occurred in the last twenty years. The 2010s decade was 8 inches of rainfall per year wetter than the 1940s decade. A warmer and wetter future is expected. Coupled with paved landscapes in our urban settings, these storms result in more urban runoff. In the Milwaukee region, this translates into more unanticipated water entering the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s system.
The Tellier Foundation is sponsoring a local competition to identify new, innovative approaches to slow down and retain these peak runoff events. Our current infrastructure, as originally designed, may not be capable of meeting the higher volumes of stormwater. We will need fresh ideas on retrofitting and adapting to meet this increase. The Greater Milwaukee Green Infrastructure Overpass Challenge is focused on reducing and treating runoff from interstate overpasses. It will be assumed that the roadway drainage area is 50 feet wide by 200 feet long and is 100 feet above the urban landscape. The stormwater management or green infrastructure approaches should capture a two-inch rain event.
Winning proposals will identify innovative ideas to maximize the capture of runoff from the overpass area and strive to attain other triple bottom line benefits. A successful submittal will suggest a resilient solution that can be incorporated into the overlooked green space under freeways. The vertical height of the stormwater system should be treated as an opportunity for both runoff reduction and treatment. The solution should be capable of being replicated throughout the freeway system and should consider stormwater as a resource.
The Challenge is open to any project team with an interest in innovated stormwater management and green infrastructure. Interdisciplinary teams comprised of various focus areas such as water resources, land use planning, ecology, and/or transportation are encouraged. Each project team will develop 2 or 3 alternatives described in a memo, then further define a recommended plan which would include conceptual design drawing or visual, a preliminary estimate of construction cost, a construction schedule, a description of constructability issues, and a long-term maintenance plan memo. Award selection will be based on innovation, sustainability, and quality of the submittal.
A Green Luminary® helps protect our rivers and Lake Michigan by adopting practices that harvest rainfall for other uses, or mimic nature, by helping it soak into the ground to reduce water pollution. View previous Green Luminary® award winners from the MMSD service area.
Greenseams® helps prevent future flooding and water pollution while supporting and protecting MMSD's structural flood management projects - infrastructure investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Greenseams® is an innovative flood management program that permanently protects key lands containing water absorbing soils.
Green infrastructure captures, absorbs or stores rain and melting snow, taking on numerous shapes and sizes from 55-gallon rain barrels to trees and porous pavers for parking lots, driveways and sidewalks. You can see green roofs on buildings or bioswales along city streets.