Check out the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works 2022 highlights! We completed quite a few constructions and infrastructure projects, mixed it up with various at-home, virtual and in-person events, and continued with our usual tasks like leaf collection and snow removal. It was a busy year, and we'd like to show you some highlights.
Thanks to a Paula Nye Grant, Lexington has a bike library! The Division of Environmental Services - in collaboration with the Lexington Area MPO - purchased 32 bikes for youth programming. The most active program was the William Wells Brown Community Center Bicycle Club. Over the course of six months, students in the club went from beginners to confident bike riders. Paula Nye Grants are awarded by the Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission with funds raised through the sale of Share the Road license plates.
In 2022, the city created a position to oversee Lexington's sustainability efforts. Jada has laid the groundwork for solar projects. Solarize Lexington will make solar panels more affordable for both residential and commercial properties.
Stay tuned for details on how to apply in early 2023!
Talk about an upgrade! The Division of Water Quality completed Phase 1 of the Southland Park Stormwater Project in 2022. The project involved:
- the construction of four detention basins
- native plants
- an updated trail
- fencing and
- a playground relocation
The effort won Improvement Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association.
Sometimes making a difference in environmental issues can seem overwhelming, but one quick and easy way we can all make an impact is by preventing and picking up litter. In 2022, Environmental Services picked up 13,579 bags of litter, cleaning up 2,340 miles of roadway in the process!
Building Inspection makes Lexington safer one inspection at a time. In 2022, they added zoning enforcement to their list of responsibilities.
The Energy Initiatives section works to implement the City’s Energy Management Plan. In 2022, the section:
- Helped to update more City facilities with LED lights and motion sensors;
- Installed a 21 kW solar panel array at Fire Station 21;
- Acquired a 5kW solar share for Fire Station 2; and
- Managed the installation of building automation at the Government Center that will lead to reduced utility use.
2022 was a tree-tastic year for Lexington! A total of 110 homeowners participated in the Hazard Street Tree (Cost-Share) Program by removing and replacing 148 trees in the public right-of-way easement. The community came together - despite snow and sleet - to plant nearly 4,000 seedlings at Reforest the Bluegrass in Belleau Woods Park. We also gave away 3,000 seedlings for residents to plant during Reforest at Home and another 1,000 to Fayette County Public Schools students.
Environmental education - aimed at students in grades K-12 - helps engage young people in making a difference. In 2022, our environmental lessons had 9,247 impressions with students across Fayette County. Two of our educators became certified as League of American Bicyclists instructors. To date, we have worked with four community centers and several schools to teach bicycle basics.
In 2022, the Division of Engineering accomplished a lot!
- Armstrong Sidewalk connection
- Mercer/Greendale intersection upgrade
- Versailles Rd improvements
SO VERY CLOSE TO DONE:
- Clays Mill Road
- section 6 of Town Branch Trail
- Meadows-Northland-Arlington improvements
- Brighton Trail
- Harrodsburg Road Shared-Use Path
- North Limestone sidewalks
- phase 3B of Citation Boulevard
Streets and Roads
Infrastructure maintenance never stops - and neither do our friends at Streets & Roads. In 2022, they:
- filled 4,400 potholes
- attended to nearly 350 tree and limb removal calls
- painted 26,962 feet of curb, which is a little more than 5 miles!
- upgraded the intersection at Sandersville and Lucille by adding new ramps, sidewalks, stop bars and cross markings.
Have you ever stopped to think about how many moving parts are involved in intersections across the city? In 2022, the Division of Traffic Engineering:
- Replaced 137 LED lamps and 32 pedestrian LED countdown lamps;
- Installed 13 traffic monitoring cameras;
- Authorized installation of 186 streetlights; and
- Mapped the location of 4,418 streetlights.
In addition, the division made traffic improvements on North Limestone, Tates Creek Road and Oliver Lewis Way - just to name a few.
The Division of Waste Management handles so much more than just curbside waste collection! In 2022, Waste Management collected 49.5 tons of paper at Paper Shred events, collected and disposed of nearly 67 tons of hazardous waste materials and distributed 280 tons of mulch to Lexington residents. Two of our employees - Joe W. and Sonya T. - also competed in the SWANA International Road-E-O, a driving skills competition.
The Division of Water Quality operates and maintains two systems – sanitary and stormwater. Read on to see the difference between these systems and how the city made improvements in 2022!
Sanitary System: Transports and cleans water from homes and businesses across Fayette Co.
- West Hickman Wastewater Treatment Plant treated nearly 6.8 billion gallons
- Town Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant treated 7.2 billion gallons
- Aeration improvements, helping with the treatment process, were completed at the Town Branch Plant
- Design began on upgrades to safer, cleaner Ultraviolet disinfection systems at both plants
- Cleaned 683,504 feet of sewer pipe
- Treated 88,341 feet of sewer pipes for roots
- Dug up and replaced 19,777 feet of sanitary sewer pipes
- Completed 14,031 work orders and assessments
Stormwater System: Transports runoff from roads, parking lots and other hard surfaces to local creeks. This water is not cleaned, which is why it is important to ensure only rain goes into storm drains.
- Installed new storm sewers on Woodhill Dr. and Peachtree Rd. to eliminate chronic yard and street flooding
- Managed over 800 miles of underground pipeline and 50,000 structures including basins, curb inlets and surface inlets (aka storm drains)
- Repaired 46 basins
- Repaired 112 points along the stormwater collection and transfer systems
The Metropolitan Planning Organization
The Lexington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (more commonly known as the MPO) is responsible for the allocation of federal transportation funds for our area. This includes investments in roads, public transit, bikeways and walkways.
Urban County Council voted to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Complete Streets means making sure everyone has the options they need to get around our community safely!
The first-ever StreetFest was held in May. A portion of Oliver Lewis Way was closed to vehicles, so nearly 200 people were able to bike, scoot, skate and walk freely!
The second annual Lex Glow Ride was a crowd pleaser! About 250 people brought their bikes to Shillito Park for a bright ride along the 2.1 mile route.
Throughout the year, Environmental Quality and Public Works hosts numerous opportunities to pick up litter or safely dispose of specific items. In 2022, one ton of trash was removed from the Kentucky River at River Sweep, 500 gallons of cooking oil was collected at Gobble Grease Toss for reuse as biofuel and 2,400 pounds of holiday lights were collected for recycling.
“At your service” goes beyond county lines. Employees from Environmental Services, Streets & Roads and Waste Management traveled to Wayland and Whitesburg, Kentucky, to help with disaster relief. Crew members did everything from cleaning sewer systems to assisting with garbage collection to helping rehang the Wayland town flag.