Water department outlines projects in Mayfair

The Philadelphia Water Department has projects set to take place in Mayfair.

The Mayfair Civic Association last week hosted two representatives from the Philadelphia Water Department to discuss upcoming projects in the neighborhood.

Rebecca Fagan, community outreach specialist, discussed the details of the upcoming water main replacement projects set to start last week. As a part of the PWD’s lead line service replacement, water main projects will take place on the following blocks: Revere Street (Loney Street to Rhawn Street); Calvert Street (Loney to Rhawn); Fairfield Street (Loney to Rhawn); Lister Street (Ryan Avenue to Loney); Brous Avenue (Ryan to Loney); Ryan (Roosevelt Boulevard to Lexington Avenue).

If the PWD finds a lead service line, it will be replaced at no cost to the homeowner. Replacing water mains are a top priority for the city, said Fagan. This project will be replacing galvanized steel as well.

Following Fagan’s presentation, Hailey Stern, outreach specialist and city planner, gave a detailed presentation on a bevy of topics pertaining to the Water Department’s plans for Mayfair and the city as a whole in the future.

The main project Stern discussed was the up-and-coming “Green City, Clean Waters” project on Crispin Street and Rowland Avenue, near Abraham Lincoln High School. The “Green City, Clean Waters” program is designed to keep pollution out of rivers and creeks by expanding the Water Department’s infrastructure. The project will bring environmentally friendly tools that capture and soak up water from storms to bring cleaner water for all Philadelphians.

Along Rowland and Crispin, green stormwater infrastructure tools, also known as “GSI,” will be adding stormwater “bump-outs,” “tree trenches,” “planters,” and “subsurface trenches” this year. Papers were given out to show the location of each specific project.

Stormwater bump-outs are a “landscaped extension of the curb that protrudes into the street at an intersection.” These bump-outs have a layer of stone topped with soil and plants to retain stormwater runoff. The PWD also claims that these bump-outs can calm traffic and make intersections safer for pedestrians.

Stormwater tree trenches are a “system of trees connected by an underground infiltration structure.” These trees will appear to be no different than any series of trees lined along any street in Philadelphia, but under the sidewalk will have a perforated pipe that distributes water throughout the trench.

Stormwater planters “manage stormwater runoff from the street and sidewalk.” These planters are filled with vegetation, soil and stone and sit below the sidewalk.

A main objective of projects like these is to stop sewage overflows from happening.

The city believes that “they’ll have reduced the combined sewer overflows by over 85 percent” by the end of the 25-year plan, says Stern.

Members of the civic had concerns whether these projects will inconvenience them, but Fagan and Stern indicated these programs do not usually interfere with residents of those areas.

In other news:

• ESK Financial, 7153 Frankford Ave., discussed its plans to convert a static billboard to an illuminated LED billboard. Members of the civic expressed concern of how the lighting could affect oncoming traffic, but ESK Financial was confident it would not make it anymore dangerous to drive on Frankford Avenue.

• Marc Collazzo, executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District, lauded the way the neighborhood was prepared for the celebration after the Eagles’ NFC championship game victory.

The celebration at Frankford and Cottman avenues the night before the meeting was relatively smooth, Collazzo believes, calling it a “real feather in the cap for Mayfair. I know that sometimes we fight against how we are perceived, and I can tell you that last night we put our best foot forward.” Members of the civic who attended the celebration also showed gratitude for the 15th Police District for keeping people in line.

Collazzo also told the civic that the BID will be unveiling a marketing campaign in the upcoming weeks to “recreate the buzz” along Frankford Avenue. He also detailed plans to make some changes to the “triangle” of Frankford, Cottman and Ryan avenues. He stated the intention of making it a plaza with outdoor seating and the addition of a “celebration statue” to symbolize the significance of that location to the Philadelphia sports fan.

• The civic’s American flag project will return along Rowland Avenue when the nicer weather comes around in March or April. Some flags had to be retired due to wind/rain damage, but one can make donations for the purchase of new American flags at mayfaircivicassociation.com

• The civic voted to not oppose the legalization of a rear sun deck with stairs from the ground level to the deck at 2138 McKinley St. ••

John Cole can be reached at JCole@bsmphilly.com