By Cameron Chai
Meador Kansas Ellis Trail project, a roadway project in Bellingham, Washington, is the first-ever project to achieve the official Greenroads Certification.
Greenroads is a rating system that has been created at the University of Washington to encourage sustainable roadway construction. The certification has been offered by the Greenroads Foundation in recognition for a wide range of works, including widening of sidewalk for cyclists and pedestrians, controlling storm water with porous concrete, and utilizing low-power LED streetlights.
The expanded sidewalk also uses porcelain from over 400 recycled toilets. The project has used approximately five tons of crushed toilets in one part of the sidewalk. In addition, the roadway project has employed about 80 tons of recycled concrete in gutters, curbs and sidewalks and up to 30% of asphalt with recycled content. Thus, the Meador Kansas Ellis Trail project has been recognized as the first official ‘Greenroad’.
Stephen Muench, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington, and Jeralee Anderson, the Greenroads Foundation’s executive director, expect that they will provide certification to at least three more roadways in the next few months. Currently, there are 12 projects under contract: eight in Washington and the remaining ones in Texas, Nevada, Colorado and California.
The Greenroads Foundation is discussing with managers for additional 10 to 20 projects that are showing an interest in the certification. In addition, the foundation is creating an accreditation process to help people become certified professionals on the Greenroads method. This program is anticipated to launch at the end of 2012.