West Union downtown streetscape becomes model for permeable paver use


January 2000 to January 2016



With funding from 15 grants, the City of West Union, Iowa, used a sustainable approach to reconstruct six blocks of the downtown business district that is a model for communities across the nation. The City hired Fehr Graham to provide cost estimates, prepare concepts, assist with grant writing and complete surveying and construction administration. Our team was involved throughout the multiyear process to make sure the project went smoothly.

Stormwater management was a focus for this project because the large downtown hard-surfaced street and sidewalk areas drained uncontrolled. Our team suggested permeable pavers with a thick crushed stone base and underdrain system because it is the preferred stormwater management practice. Teams built 4.4 acres of permeable pavers, which included 3,000 linear feet of streets and 6,000 linear feet of sidewalks. 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.

This project has become a showcase for large-scale permeable paver placement within a downtown setting. Groups from Iowa and the Midwest routinely visit to learn how the design concepts can be applied to their projects.

» Completed field survey.
» Assisted with grant writing.
» Prepared engineering design and cost estimates.
» Prepared plans, specifications and contract documents.
» Completed construction survey, observation and administration.