I-95 PennDOT Project

The City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are working on a multi-year expansion of I-95, and to help mitigate the additional impervious surface created as a resultthey have enlisted the help of VCRWS researchers to installraingardens along the interstate. These raingardens will act as stormwater management systems across the city, addressing both the quantity of water and its quality..
 

PennDOT Raingarden Sites along I-95
PennDOT Raingarden Sites along I-95

Stormwater runoff from the highway flows directly into these raingardens, along with collected suspended solids and other pollutants from the road surface. Sediment collection is one of the primary functions of the stormwater management system and the VCRWS research group is investigating how sediment accumulation in these systems affects their long term performance and how the design can be improved to minimize such impacts.


Figure 2: Graduate Student, Rebecca Connolly Collects Soil Samples
Figure 2: Graduate Student, Rebecca Connolly Collects Soil Samples

As part of the project, the team is  performing both field and laboratory studies to determine how infiltration rates and soil properties change over time.  Using models allows researchers to better understand sediment accumulation inside these systems and how they may change infiltration rates over time. In addition, the overall performance of these systems is being monitored using a number of flow measuring devices such as inflow sensors, weirs, moisture and depth sensors.

Claire Faddi (left, undergraduate) and Matina Shakya (right, graduate) installing a Data Logger at SMP 1
Claire Faddi (left, undergraduate) and Matina Shakya (right, graduate) installing a Data Logger at SMP 1

For more information about the project, watch this video by our friends at Yale E360.