Stormwater Management & Best Management Practices

Land-Use Specific BMPs


The use of bioretention areas (such as rain gardens and bioswales), along with curb cuts to divert stormwater runoff into these BMPs, can be highly effective near roads and highways.

Highways and Roads

Mitigating the impacts of runoff from highways and roads is a concern for highway managers (such as PennDOT and the PA Turnpike Commission) and for municipalities; particularly those tasked with stormwater management and NPDES Phase II responsibilities. Highways and roads face specific challenges in managing stormwater, including:

  • The need to manage stormwater while maintaining safe road conditions
  • Limited available space and the need to locate BMPs within the right-of-way, if possible.
  • Drainage area imperviousness greater than 50 percent, and sometimes 100%.
  • Areas of extensive disturbance and compaction of soils (cut and fill).
  • The potential for spills of hazardous materials.
  • The use of deicing chemicals and salts as well as anti-skid materials, and the need to dispose of removed snow.
  • Higher concentration of pollutants as compared to many other land uses.

    (Taken from PA Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual)

Although there are many challenges associated with stormwater management and transportation infrastructure, there are also many opportunities.  Communities across the nation are incorporating innovative stormwater management practices into their design and re-design of transportation networks.  Many cities are creating “Green Streets” and “Green Alleys” to manage stormwater runoff while also reaping the additional environmental and social benefits of green infrastructure.  Visit the links below to learn more about stormwater management and transportation infrastructure. 

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Erin Kepple Adams
Claire Jordy

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