The city of Allentown has been awarded a $300,000 Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to manage stormwater in the West End and improve water quality within the Jordan Creek.
The funds are part of the Growing Greener grants program now in its 17th year. The city was informed of the successful grant application in a letter from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
The funding will go toward design and construction of four green stormwater infrastructure retrofit projects in the Livingston subwatershed of the Jordan Creek watershed. The suite of projects will have a stormwater capture and treatment capacity of nearly 49,000 gallons and will reduce overland sediment load to the Jordan Creek by more than 2,840 pounds per year.
The Livingston Watershed is comprised of an area of some 4.6 square miles with 23.8 miles of drainage conduits.
An intense 40 minute storm on August 29, 2013 resulted in widespread street flooding in the city’s West End. T&M Associates with offices in Bethlehem was tasked with conducting a hydrologic/hydraulic engineering study to develop recommendations to upgrade and improve the stormwater collection system.
“I am very pleased that the state has selected the Livingston Watershed project for funding,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “The letter from the governor notes that selecting from the 202 eligible applications received by DEP has been more difficult than ever this year. I want to commend staff for putting together the application and all the work that has been done to improve stormwater collection in that area in the interim.”
Interim Director of Public Works Craig Messinger said, “We can now proceed with the design of the project. By the time we would secure the actual funding and get all the necessary paperwork done, I would expect that we would be able to go out for bid and begin construction next summer.”
More than $250,000 of the Growing Greener grant funds will go toward construction. The city will provide a $331,000 match. More than $300,000 of that has already been spent on pipe replacement and manhole repairs, stormwater inlet replacement and repairs, debris removal from inlets and pipes in the West End, more aggressive leaf collection, and comprehensive videoing and monitoring of the storm water system. The city is currently lowering Andrew Street at Albright Avenue to better distribute stormwater flow into the city’s storm sewer system.