The village of Brookfield is poised to construct its first “green” alley, which could be a model for alley construction in the future.
The alley, which runs behind properties north of Ogden Avenue between Madison and Raymond avenues, is being improved as part of the Advance Auto Parts development at 9310 Ogden Ave.
Advance Auto Parts recently began work to construct an 8,000-square-foot retail store on the property. As part of the project, the retailer pledged to pay a portion of the cost to pave the east-west alley behind the store.
Village officials decided that the new alley employ sustainable construction practices, namely permeable pavers to help manage storm runoff. The result is that the alley will have two 50-foot long cells of paver bricks — one on either end of the alley — with a section of traditional concrete alley in the center section.
According to Village Engineer Derek Treichel, the concrete portion of the alley will drain toward the paver brick sections, which will stand atop a 2 1/2-foot-deep dry well filled with 3-inch gravel, which will hold storm runoff and slowly allow the runoff to filter into the ground.
Treichel said the dry well’s capacity will be enough to handle a 3-inch rain event.
“It keeps all but the largest of storm runoff out of the combined sewer system,” said Treichel, who added that this method of construction will be used as a potential model for residential alley construction in the future.
“I think this is the trend,” said Treichel. “It’s something we look forward to using in the future.”
On May 27, the Brookfield Village Board voted 6-0 to award a contract for the construction of the alley to MYS Inc., which has constructed many of the village’s traditional concrete alleys.
Those alleys differ from the green alley in that they have sewers that flow into either storm sewers or the combined sewer system, which only strains already overburdened systems during significant rain events.
The hybrid concrete/paver solution being used behind Advance Auto Parts could serve as a model for the future because constructing a portion of the alley in concrete saves a bit of money.
The relatively short 270-foot alley from Madison to Raymond will cost $69,655 to construct, and that figure does not include the roughly $12,000 design cost, which was paid by the village. According to Keith Sbiral, the village’s assistant manager and director of planning and building, Advance Auto Parts is contributing about $11,000 toward the construction of the alley.
The typical north-south residential alley is about 600 feet long, said Treichel, noting that if the village had decided to construct a traditional concrete alley, which would have included the installation of a sewer beneath the alley, the cost in this case would have been about the same.
“There is an increase in cost [compared to] a typical concrete alley when you use brick pavers,” Treichel said, “but that was offset by not putting storm sewers in.”
It’s unclear exactly when the alley construction will begin, but it will run concurrently with the construction of the auto parts store, said Treichel. The goal is to have the alley completed before Advance Auto Parts lays down asphalt for its parking lot.