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Albany Water Department Completes Green Infrastructure Project on Ramsey Place

December 23, 2019

TELEPHONE (518) 434-5100
Date: December 23, 2019
Contact: Emily Lyons
Albany Water Department
(518) 434-5333
ALBANY, NY – Just before the first snow fell this year, the Albany Water Department (AWD) completed a Green Infrastructure project on Ramsey Place in Albany’s Helderberg neighborhood. Construction of the Project occurred during the recent summer and fall months, with initial design and community outreach beginning in the fall of 2018.

Ramsey Place Before           Ramsey Place After
The goal of the Project was to create stormwater sewer separation on Ramsey Place to prevent runoff from the street contributing to areas on Hackett Boulevard that have a history of flooding. Street trees, porous pavement, and underground storage space were added to help achieve this goal. The project is expected to provide approximately 150,000 gallons of separated storm sewer storage. 
As part of the Project, AWD was also able to revitalize sidewalks and add crosswalks, rehabilitate underground utilities, replace fire hydrants, and collaborate with the City of Albany’s Department of Planning & Development on street light improvements for a complete street. The Project also included repaving the street through the Water Department’s partnership with the City of Albany’s Department of General Services and the replacement of 47 lead water services at no cost to the property owner through a New York State Department of Health grant. 
AWD received positive resident feedback upon conclusion of the Project, including:
“I just love driving down the street now. It is so beautiful!” – Deborah Dennis 
“Last night it was almost dark and I went outside. The new LED [street]lights were on and our street looked just beautiful.” – Laura Duffy
“The street looks great. People are loving it!” and “We are very pleased with the outcome. Thank you.” – Ramsey Place Resident
The project came together after initial outreach with the neighborhood including a resident survey and two community meetings held during late 2018 and early 2019. Through this process, AWD revised the initial design that included adding bioswales in the space between the curb and sidewalk. While bioswales provide excellent stormwater quality benefits, an alternative option was chosen for this specific project due to feedback received from residents. The revised design instead increased the amount of green space and trees to still achieve similar stormwater benefits as the original proposal.
The right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk was extended to include grass with trees. A total of 46 trees were planted, with 20 trees removed. An underground water detention space and new separated stormwater pipe was also added underneath the right-of way. In addition, the street now has two feet of porous pavement next to each curb. This porous pavement will allow water to drain to the underground detention space, the tree roots, and stormwater pipe.
AWD plans to complete similar Green Infrastructure projects in the coming years to help reduce localized flooding across the City as well as the volume of combined sewer overflows in the Hudson River. Through coordination with the Department of General Service’s pavement schedule, AWD can use repaving opportunities to incorporate new stormwater infrastructure.
Green infrastructure is a term used for a wide variety of practices at different scales to manage and treat stormwater. Local green infrastructure systems are designed to establish or mimic natural processes in order to slow down and capture stormwater before it has a chance to reach sewers or areas prone to flooding downstream as runoff. Some examples of green infrastructure are porous pavement, rain gardens and bioswales, constructed wetlands, and rain barrels.
Learn more about Green Infrastructure: 
Learn more about lead and drinking water: