Boston Porous Alley - Charles River Watershed Association
  • Porous Alley Before
  • Porous Alley
  • Porous Alley After

South End, Boston, MA

Project Partners
Charles River Watershed Association
Boston Department of Public Works
Boston Groundwater Trust
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.

Project Status

Project Overview

The porous alley in Boston, Massachusetts demonstrates one way the Blue Cities approach will create more resilient cities. The project was constructed using porous asphalt with a large storage and recharge chamber underneath the pavement surface.

Project Goals

  • Clean and filter polluted runoff, preventing it from entering the Charles River
  • Recharge groundwater levels by allowing the filtered runoff to soak into the ground
  • Evaluate the technology, learn from the design and construction process, and develop a standardized conceptual design to guide future porous pavement projects.

Planning and design were completed in 2013 and the project was constructed in 2014. Monitoring of the project is ongoing. To date, monitoring shows the project has been successful at recharging significant volumes of water, as well as reducing pollution and stormwater flows into area sewers.

Project Location

The porous alley is located along Alley 543 between West Canton and Holyoke Streetsin the South End of Boston. The area is a historic neighborhood, consisting primarily of Victorian row houses and apartment buildings. The alley includes a ten foot right of way owned by the City, and adjacent private land which is used primarily for parking.

READ:  Summary Report
Download: Fact Sheet

Partner Roles and Project Funding

The City of Boston Public Works Department, the Boston Groundwater Trust, VHB and CRWA joined together to select a site, develop the design, manage the construction and monitor the results. Several other City agencies and departments were involved, in particular the Public Improvements Commission and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. The project was funded by a Section 319 Nonpoint Source grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, with significant matching funds for construction provided by the City of Boston. Boston Groundwater Trust installed new wells specifically to monitor the results of the project on local groundwater levels, and CRWA monitored both water quality and recharge rates from the porous pavement section itself. VHB designed the project, managed and monitored construction and developed a set of standard design documents for the City.

Learn More

Lessons Learned
Data Collected

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Overview and Lesson's Learned

About the Porous Alley

About Blue Cities Initiative

Project Manager

Pallavi Kalia Mande - Blue Cities Initiative
Pallavi Kalia Mande
Director of Blue Cities
Bio | 781.788.0007 x232 | 

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