Greenways in the City of Madison
A greenway is a corridor of protected open space that is maintained for stormwater conveyance. As such, when it rains, the greenways will become urban waterways. Greenways can also be used for conservation, recreation, and/or pedestrian transportation. They vary in both size and structure. Some are comprised of open grassways, rock bottoms or concrete channels; others resemble wooded streams. They are connected by culverts, bridges, and underground storm drains, guiding the stormwater to regional treatment devices, such as stormwater ponds, and eventually to nearby lakes and streams.
Greenways are routinely inspected to make sure they are functioning as designed. Rapidly progressing erosion, scour holes, and destabilized slopes are documented. Greenways in older parts of the City tend to be unengineered—meaning they were farm ditches adopted into the City’s stormwater infrastructure as the City developed. Often, if there isn’t a designed access road into the greenway the City is unable to complete routine maintenance. Annually the City restores select greenways for the following reasons: flood mitigation, maintenance access, and stabilization.
The Stormwater Utility is part of the City of Madison’s Department of Public Works Engineering Division. They are responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the City’s stormwater drainage and conveyance system. This system has been designed to improve our water quality while minimizing the potential for flooding.