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Development News

Construction Continues On Green Street, Palmetto

Manatee County's City of Palmetto is jumping on the green train.

Redeveloping Fifth Street West in downtown Palmetto to integrate environmentally friendly right-of-way landscaping, the first Green Street in Manatee County will cut down on pollution flowing into the Manatee River by filtrating storm water.

“Essentially, we're trying to take away all of the existing flow of water off of the asphalt and pavement to try to reintroduce nature's own way of using the ground as a sponge as it naturally absorbs storm water,” says Green Street architect Charlie Ugarte.

Palmetto's Green Street, a term coined by Portland, OR's sustainability efforts, will use a number of techniques -- everything from porous pavers to rain gardens to retention areas -- to reintroduce the storm water directly intro the ground at the source, versus using pipes and other manmade means. Native Florida plants and trees will be utilized because their roots serve to filter street runoff.

“This project is really something that had to be done to the street as it was in an atrocious condition,” Ugarte says. “We couldn't just repair things. We needed to create a prototype for how urban design could be done in Palmetto and couldn't afford the traditional rain water systems in our compact, dense environment.”

Currently under construction, the $1.4 million Green Street project is slated to see completion in August 2012. Funds for the project by Bradenton's NRC Construction Co. are being provided by the Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) with the help of a $582,000 grant from Southwest Florida Water Management (SFMD).

According to Ugarte, this project is just the start of Palmetto's plan to re-urbanize the downtown neighborhoods into a compact community as a similar approach is in the works for Riverside Park.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Charlie Ugarte, Ugarte and Associates
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