Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds learned a lot about West Union's downtown streetscape project during a recent visit to the city of about 2,350 people.
With funding from 15 grants, the city used a sustainable approach - a model for communities across the nation - to reconstruct six blocks of the downtown business district. Stormwater management was a focus for this project because the many hard-surfaced streets and sidewalks drained uncontrolled.
Jon Biederman, manager of Fehr Graham's West Union office and lead engineer on the multiyear project, told Reynolds that West Union has become a showcase for large-scale permeable paver placement within a downtown. The West Union project featured 4.4 acres of permeable pavers with a thick crushed stone base and underdrain system because it is a preferred stormwater management practice. The project also included bio-retention areas, new water distribution system, new sanitary sewer collection system, an LED street lighting system, a district geothermal heating and cooling system, and an outdoor civic plaza.