On Wednesday, January 25th members of the Public Works Department accepted a 2023 American Public Works Association(APWA) Project of the Year award. The award was presented by the Suburban Branch of the APWA Chicago Metro Chapter. The Village’s 2022 Green Alley Project was selected among applicants within the Environmental – Less than $5 million category. This award recognized the Village's commitment to green alley installations as part of its ongoing sustainability initiatives.
In 2022, the Village Board approved a contract for construction of three more permeable paver, or ‘green’ alleys, in the community, which brought to 10 the number of permeable paver alleys in Skokie. The alleys were constructed above a deep stone base to provide storage for stormwater as it infiltrates into the adjacent soil. In total, the stone base of all three green alleys installed in 2022 provide nearly 70,000 gallons of stormwater storage during rain events. Over the course of an average year that is almost 1,000,000 gallons of stormwater that does not enter the combined sewer system. In addition to the sustainability benefit of the increased groundwater recharge, the green alleys do not require surface gravel, nor ongoing regrading. This provides further environmental benefits as the gravel would have to be produced and transported to Skokie, and regrading requires the use of heavy machinery.
The cost of green alley construction is up to 200 percent higher than asphalt or concrete construction, and approximately one-quarter of the 2022 project cost was funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Additional green alley upgrades will be implemented as funding allows in areas of the community determined to experience heightened stormwater drainage issues.