Huron Avenue Sewer Separation and Green Street Project

Client: Kleinfelder/SEA Constultants, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Challenge

The Huron Avenue project is part of a broader, long-term improvement project undertaken by the City of Cambridge, MA Department of Public Works to minimize extraneous stormwater discharges to the combined sewer/stormwater collection system while improving city utilities, roadways, and sidewalks to maintain safe and fully accessible streets. The objectives included a streetscape restoration to incorporate Low Impact Development (LID) solutions for stormwater management in a primarily residential neighborhood and to continue the city’s sustainability mission. Chester Engineers was responsible for integration of attractive sustainable landscape and streetscape design using engineered solutions for stormwater management and pollution reduction.

The Interdisciplinary Approach

Chester Engineers provided integrated design services in ecology, engineering, and landscape architecture to develop criteria for LID solutions using all possible Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improve water quality. Soils, topography, slope, utilities, and land use were reviewed and ranked for optimal siting and compatibility with proposed stormwater upgrades. Assessment of slopes, permeability and a hydrologic analysis were performed. Conceptual and schematic drawings were developed with input from neighborhood residents through questionnaires and public presentations that encouraged detailed responses. Information was obtained on historical flooding and drainage problems, sidewalk and accessibility issues, vehicular and pedestrian traffic concerns, and expectations of the project to provide functional solutions and aesthetic enhancement to the streetscape.

The Sustainable Result

Chester Engineers provided hydrologic calculations for the “first flush” of runoff that removes the majority of the accumulated pollutants on the ground surface. The first flush volume dictates the type and optimum placement for each stormwater treatment device. The resulting devices best suited for the residential area included pretreatment catchbasins and rain gardens also called biobasins that maximized stormwater infiltration capacity based on the available area within the street right-of-way while minimizing the loss of parking spaces and meeting the goals of ADA compliant pedestrian accessibility.

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    Project Highlights:
  • Use of natural sustainable systems.
  • Conforms to NPDES Phase II stormwater requirements.
  • Achieved significant water quality enhancement through pollutant removal.
    Services Provided:
  • Public meeting presentations.
  • Site investigation and analysis.
  • Conceptual, schematic design development.
  • Hydrologic calculations.
  • Cost estimating.
  • Stormwater management.
  • Contract documents.