November 27, 2013

TriMet installs ‘eco-track’ at future light rail station

Photo courtesy TriMet

Photo courtesy TriMet

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet is taking sustainable transit further with a pilot installation of eco-track on its 7.3-mile Portland-Milwaukie light rail transit project. The vegetated trackway will provide a colorful carpet of low-growing plants along 200 feet of light rail line on either side of the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave MAX Station platforms.

Although “green” or “grass” trackways exist in Europe, it’s a rare application in the U.S., according to TriMet. The vegetated trackway area is pervious to stormwater, thus reducing runoff. The eco-track is comprised of 1-inch thick mats with various sedum species.

Sedums are a hardy, low-maintenance vegetation commonly used on eco-roofs. The sedum planting will initially be irrigated with a drip watering system for establishment and then irrigated on an as-needed basis.

In addition to the eco-track installation, the light rail project has replaced trees and is incorporating sidewalk stormwater planters on SW Lincoln Street.

Check out a time-lapse video of the installation here.

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  • Stanley Green, P.E.[ December 10th, 2013 @ 9:10pm ]

    I believe that the St. Charles Ave. street railway in New Orleans has operated for nearly 180 years with vegetation between the rails. The idea may not be new, but it is a good idea in some applications.

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