Unique Public-Private Partnership Addresses Stormwater Needs, Encourages Redevelopment - Village of West Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A unique public-private partnership between the Village of West Milwaukee and Walmart has led to the successful development of a "neighborhood stormwater management facility." The subsurface stormwater chamber was constructed to serve the existing and future land uses of a 20-acre urban redevelopment district that is vital to the Village’s economic development efforts. Construction of the facility was completed in fall 2012. R.A. Smith National serves as the Village Engineer for the Village of West Milwaukee and provided civil engineering design and construction management services.
Kim Egan, village administrator for West Milwaukee, states, "The Village of West Milwaukee was pleased to partner with Walmart to provide this neighborhood approach to stormwater management. We look forward to providing this unique neighborhood stormwater management solution to future developments within the district."
The Village recognized that stormwater would present a challenge for any project to be undertaken in the district due to local, state and regional stormwater rules and regulations. To promote existing and future development opportunities, the Village decided to design and install a pre-cast subsurface stormwater chamber that could be used as a publicly-owned neighborhood stormwater management facility. Designed to accommodate 20 acres of urban stormwater runoff, a key advantage of this neighborhood solution is that the chamber will serve the 15-acre Walmart development as well as accommodate five acres of future redevelopment within the District. The public stormwater chamber is located in an easement on the Walmart property.
The chamber is one of the largest pre-cast subsurface stormwater chambers in Wisconsin, measuring approximately 64 feet wide x 450 feet long x 12 feet high. The land use over the top of the chamber is Walmart’s trucking/delivery route and store parking.
The stormwater chamber was designed to work in conjunction with the environment in several respects. The first is the way in which a pond-like environment was created in a subsurface area. The size and shape of the chamber allowed for a static volume of water in the chamber at all times, simulating the fixed depth of water found in a pond.
The chamber was also designed to exceed the required regulatory pollutant removals. While the required 40% removal of suspended solids is typical for urban redevelopment, the Village believed it was worthwhile to go above and beyond the water quality requirements and instead achieved a 60%+ removal rate.
Another unique design feature of the chamber is that it was designed to work with the Village’s available storm sewer outfall pipe system. The chamber sizing was challenging due to certain conveyance limitations downstream toward the Menomonee River discharge.
The neighborhood stormwater facility strengthens the appeal of available property within the redevelopment district for prospective developers, including Walmart. Lisa B. Nelson, senior manager of public affairs and government relations at Walmart, indicated, “Walmart values the Village of West Milwaukee’s willingness to develop this neighborhood facility as proper stormwater management is always a primary consideration in all of our development projects.”
To date 15 of the redevelopment district’s 20 acres have already been developed. The redevelopment district includes Walmart, two outlot parcels, and a rehabilitated multi-tenant retail building. The Village is optimistic that the remaining five acres of urban property will be redeveloped within the next five years.