Project Partners: Sucevic, Piccolini and Kuchar Engineering, Inc., Derck & Edson, Inc., Deiss & Halmi Engineering,
PennDOT, Allegheny College


In Praise of Land and Water: Revisioning Stormwater on Federal Highways

CEED’s Arts & Environment Initiative was awarded a contract to design an innovative solution to stormwater runoff at the I-79 interchange in Meadville. Both aesthetic and functional solutions were addressed through the project, which serves as a national model for handling stormwater and improving water quality on federal highways. Construction started in Spring 2008. Allegheny students tested water quality in Van Horne Creek before and after construction.


The project uses land art strategies to demonstrate best practices in erosion control, water quality improvement, and other environmental and aesthetic aspects of highway projects, with an emphasis on the use of recycled and repurposed materials. General concept plans for this project were developed by students in Geffen’s Art 156 Intro to Studio Art: Art & the Environment course and engineered by an interdisciplinary team. Runoff from the new bridge is directed into the cloverleafs where it is filtered through sculptural landscaping designed to reuse concrete road rubble, create water purification systems and minimize maintenance. According to Bill Pettit, PennDOT’s executive director for the northwestern district , this project represents the perfect collaboration, “having served the needs of the community, well beyond the pavement.


Completed in 2010, In Praise of Land & Water: Revisioning Stormwater on Federal Highways received a Diamond Honor Award for excellence with water resources at the annual award banquet of the American Council of Engineering Companies, Pennsylvania Chapter held in Hershey, PA on February 4th, 2010. The award was presented to CEED, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Sucevic, Piccolomini and Kuchar Engineering (SP&K), PennDOT's design consultant for the Interstate 79 Meadville - Conneaut Lake Interchange project.