Big Urbie Grant Projects Out to Bid

Four projects to improve water quality are currently out to bid as part of the Springfield-Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project Grant (nicknamed Big Urbie).  Included are projects to retrofit two detention basins on Missouri State University (MSU) campus and one detention basin co-located on the Drury University and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) campuses.  The fourth project involves replacing a portion of the parking lot at Boyd Elementary School with pervious concrete, along with installation of a swale and rain barrel.  The projects are a partnership between Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, the City of Springfield Departments of Public Works and Environmental Services, and the respective property owners MSU, Drury, and SPS.

The goal of these projects is to reduce nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff to our local urban streams.  The three detention basin retrofit projects include removal of concrete channels and replacement with rocks and vegetation to slow down and filter runoff, and allow it to soak into the ground.  Two of the basins are also being monitored by collecting samples of runoff and measurements of flow before and after the projects to determine their effectiveness at reducing runoff and improving water quality.  This monitoring is being conducted by the Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute (OEWRI) at MSU as part of the grant.

At Boyd Elementary, the replacement of a portion of the parking lot with pervious concrete and installation of a swale will allow rainwater to soak into the ground to reduce runoff and help alleviate ponding of water in the parking lot.  Roof runoff will also be collected in a rain barrel to use for landscape irrigation.   The projects also involve planting of trees which provide a stormwater benefit by intercepting and using rainwater.

These projects are an opportunity for contractors to be involved in and gain experience installing green, innovative stormwater practices. We are excited about the water quality and educational benefits of these projects. The location of these projects at schools and universities provides an opportunity to educate students about stormwater runoff, and the monitoring data will provide valuable, local information to guide future projects.

Contractors can access the bid documents through the Springfield Blue Print website at http://dpr.spfdblue.com/View/Default.aspx.

The projects are being funded by the Big Urbie grant, with matching funds and in-kind assistance for design and construction provided by the City.  Additional in-kind match is being provided by each of the property owners and grant partner Greene County Resource Management.  Big Urbie is a $1 million federal grant awarded to Watershed Committee of the Ozarks by U.S. EPA Region 7 through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources under section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 2011.  Several more projects are in the design phase and will be out for bid later this year.  More information visit www.bigurbie.org or by contact: Stacey at 417-866-1127.

Stacey Armstrong, Projects Manager

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