Chattanooga Public Works revamps city’s infrastructure

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The city of Chattanooga is working toward making your neighborhood greener.

Chattanooga’s Department of Public Works showcased its newest green infrastructure initiative Friday. The city’s goal is to restore the natural water cycle in developed areas and improve water quality.

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As the city of Chattanooga grows and develops, more of the natural elements of the city diminish.

Now, Public Works is working to improve the city’s infrastructure with an environmentally conscience frame of mind.

“This is the change in the way that we manage storm water,” city engineer Bill Payne said. “Before this project we just had a lot of asphalt behind us. We had pipes that would just take that water to the ditches, and ultimately it made its way all the way to the Tennessee River. So with this project we’re able to take that. And this water now is going to be, will infiltrate into the ground and get filtration.”


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Currently, the stormwater drains into the creeks and rivers, with all the pollutents it picks up on the way.

“That’s not the city that we want to be in and so we figured out a way to change that,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.

The new project will plant more trees, restore wetlands and lay permeable pavement, which allows water to filter through a stone drainage system underneath the road.

“We live in a city of creators, people who are able to find new solutions to the problems that face us. And I am proud to say that our department of public works are some of these creators,” Berke said.

The city wants to focus on positively affecting the people who live in these neighborhoods, as well, especially those who have been dealing with poor drainage and flooding for years.

“Your work here really does change the lives of the people that live here,” Berke said.

Mayor Berke says in six months, he wants this infrastructure to be standard in all Chattanooga neighborhoods.