A neighbourhood in the Town of Granby, QC, a municipality 70 kilometres southeast of Montreal, had long experienced chronic problems with sewer backups, particularly following rainstorms. Rather than replace the existing pipes at great expense, the city took an innovative approach:
- Decrease pavement width from 12 to 7 metres
- Installation of an underground retention basin
- Build a vegetated depression along the roadway
To promote active transportation, Granby later added a recreational path adjacent to — but separated from — the narrowed roadway. The project cost $1.3 million less than installing larger pipes and also delivered environmental and social benefits: the improved drainage prevents backups; and the additional green space and recreational path enhance quality of life in the community. The project generated valuable lessons that FCM shares with other municipalities.