PORTLAND — Geosyntec Consultants is pleased to announce it was recently awarded a National Cooperative Highway Research Program contract (NCHRP) through the National Academy of Sciences (NCHPR project 25-31). Along with Geosyntec staff, our research team includes researchers at Oregon State University, Marie Venner and Associates (Denver), the Low-Impact Development Center (Maryland), and Wrightwater Engineers (Denver).
With a performance period of 24 months through 2011, Geosyntec will be developing a guidance document for governmental transportation agencies to use for evaluating and selecting modifications to the existing roadway drainage infrastructure to improve water quality in ultra-urban areas. Retrofits to highway drainage facilities in ultra-urban settings are challenging and costly due to high levels of impervious cover that cause rapid and large runoff response; severe space constraints and utility conflicts that limit opportunities for treatment facilities; and high traffic densities that complicate constructability and facility maintenance. Transportation agencies are facing increased requirements to address water quality from existing highways that are located in ultra-urban areas due to increasing Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and stormwater National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements. The research effort will build upon the recently completed NCHRP efforts. Eric Strecker, PE, of Geosyntec is the Principal Investigator.
Through this contract Geosyntec will research and develop guidelines for evaluating and selecting hydraulic modifications and installing storm water treatment facilities to existing drainage infrastructures in order to reduce pollutant loads and concentrations. This project will draw on Geosyntec's previous experience in highway runoff characterization, performance monitoring of stormwater structural Best Management Practices (BMP), and evaluation and guidance criteria for BMP selection developed by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), NCHRP, Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). By applying Geosyntec's expertise with that of our teaming subcontractors in urban stormwater management and water resources engineering, our team will be able to develop a practical guidance document for NCHRP and highway agencies/engineers across the U.S. This is Geosyntec's third major NCHRP project that addresses highway runoff. Previous reports include NCHRP Report 521 "Identification of Research Needs Related to Highway Runoff Management" and Report 565 "Evaluation of Best Management Practices for Highway Runoff Control".