In an effort to curb pollution one block at a time, the Chicago Department of Transportation is developing what it calls “the greenest street in America.” A two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road in the industrial Pilsen neighborhood, which sees heavy truck traffic, is made with pavement that both recycles air and is made from recycled materials. The “photocatalytic cement removes nitrogen oxide gases from the air through a catalytic reaction driven by UV light,” as reported on SmartPlanet. The street also incorporates bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavements, designed to keep polluted water out of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and divert rainfall from the sewers. According to the CDOT, 60% of the project’s construction waste was recycled.
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