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Coinciding with the construction of the Bohemian Companies building on the corner of Walnut Street and Mountain Avenue, the Stormwater Utility partnered with the developer to install Low Impact Development (LID) technologies to create an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the previous hard surface areas. This included parking and landscaping in the area.
Stormwater collaborates with Colorado State University and numerous City departments, including Engineering, Streets, Parking Services, Parks and Arts in Public Places to determine maintenance requirements and structural stability and to test water quality.
The Mitchell Block Project includes:
- Testing Boxes: built as an art-educational exhibit with funding from Arts in Public Places, the boxes demonstrate and explain to the public the function and effectiveness of LID. CSU and the City conduct research on the treatment techniques.
- Permeable Pavers: installed in 2009 and rehabilitated in the summer of 2014. Includes different colored pavers to delineate the parking lanes. Water quality from either side is drained into the inlets on the corner of Walnut and Mountain.
- Rain Gardens: built on Walnut Street where maintenance and effectiveness can be monitored.
- Tree Filter: placed on Mountain Avenue where stormwater is channeled for treatment and used to irrigate the tree.
These combined techniques in one location have made Fort Collins a test site for innovative stormwater treatment techniques while maintaining the beauty and charm of downtown.