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Green Stormwater Infrastructure Can Protect Urban Transportation

Posted: Jun 22, 2022

Researchers at Colorado State University found that urban roadway flooding can be reduced by diverting storm water from just 1% to 5% of directly connected impervious areas (i.e., streets, parking lots, rooftops) to bioretention areas, a part of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). These results show that GSI can reduce flood-related disruptions to the roadway system that often reach far beyond the immediate area of flooding and can have significant economic and emergency response impacts.

Roadway flooding leads to the disruption of transportation systems even when flood depths are still passable by causing hazardous driving conditions that require a reduced safe driving speed. Because of traffic networks’ connectivity, localized roadway flooding can cause traffic disruptions that reach far beyond the extent of the flooding. These disruptions can cause significant economic loss and pose a risk to the function of transportation networks during emergency events.

Aditi Bhaskar, Ph.D.
Colorado State University

Assessing the Use of Dual-drainage Modeling to Determine the Effects of Green Stormwater Infrastructure on Roadway Flooding and Traffic Performance

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050