- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Nine wooden benches have been installed in downtown Davenport as part of a $200,000 stormwater management project.

The three-sided benches surround a cut in the curb that opens to a square pit planted with a tree and filled with soil and rock. The pit catches water that comes “flying down the hill” during storms, said Brian Stineman, Davenport’s natural resources manager.

Stineman said the water would previously back up on the street or overwhelm storm sewers. Now water goes into sub-drain tile connecting the pits and eventually into a storm sewer, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/1Mn8Flg ) reports.

The process also waters the trees in the pits “for free,” Stineman said.

Grates are normally installed to keep people from stumbling into tree pits, but the benches were used to keep people out while also providing seating. The benches are made of hunks of lumber from downed trees on Credit Island, as part of program to give them a second use.

The square pits help filter litter out of the water. Stineman said the Downtown Davenport Partnership has agreed to clean up the litter.

The stormwater project also included replacing concrete sidewalk with brick-colored pavers that are spaced apart. Crushed rock fills the cracks, allowing rain to fall through instead of going into the street.

Project funding came from the state.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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