The intersection of Plum and Walnut streets in Lancaster, Pa., used to be described in three ways: dangerous, ugly and prone to flooding.
Today, the intersection, which used to include a large concrete island and a dangerous merge lane, is a model for storm water management, improved traffic safety and increased commercial activity.
The turnaround effort, led by the city of Lancaster, used an installation of Pine Hall Brick Co.’s StormPave permeable pavers as a key feature in the redesign.
A large outdoor dining patio with StormPave pavers was built at the Lancaster Brewing Co. A short distance away, diagonal parking spaces made of the pavers, with contrasting pavers used for stripes, were installed.
The once concrete and asphalt intersection is now home to native shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and new tree species surrounding the outdoor café. Adjacent to the dining patio is a sculpture with a framework of steel and irregular native woods that hides a 700-gal cistern. The installation captures storm water from the roof for watering planters that are used by the brewery’s owners to grow their own produce.
Earlier this year, the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, which consists of 4,000 storm water professionals throughout most of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, announced that the project won the Grand Prize for the Best Urban BMP in the Bay Award, a competition that was initiated to discover and share best practices on how to handle storm water. The installation won the contest, but the environment was the real winner.