Riverpoint Plaza and Riverwalk are two of the newest areas to grace the Chicago river, along with the Riverpoint Tower. Positioned near the west loop, the 52 story office tower is an ultramodern office building. Complementing this towering feat of engineering is a 1.5-acre park built on top of the existing Metra railroad tracks that sit adjacent to the tower. Additionally, the structure covering the railroad tracks offered the ideal backdrop for the continued construction of the Chicago “Riverwalk.”
As a result of irrigation engineering, the irrigation system on the “Riverwalk” area and the plaza were designed to use strictly reclaimed water. Water collected from the drainage area and rainfall from the Plaza are the primary water sources for the green areas. Additionally, the irrigation system uses the most efficient equipment available in Chicago, and all plants and turf areas were set to be irrigated with a subsurface dripline.
In line with many of the other projects J.M. Irrigation has completed, this system’s water source involved a water tank set within a watertight building covered by the railroad tracks. An intake pump pushes the water up and down to feed the plaza and Riverwalk efficiently. In contrast with other irrigation systems that often supplement reclaimed water with portable sources, the Riverwalk’s system will use only reclaimed water and has an automatic shut off when water reaches the desired level.
Both of these sites were irrigated with some eleven miles of Netafim dripline along with pressure compensation emitters. As a special upgrade, each plant type required a different emitter spacing because of the unique variety of plant life. J.M. Irrigation successfully spaced the dripline before the turf installation to guarantee an effective output.
Adding to this, weather sensors and monitors were installed to aid in controlling the irrigation system while also connecting the structures easily without obstructing the incredible views of the river and city.
Despite its seemingly small size, the laser like efficiency of the system is unsurpassed by any other downtown landscape. This project was successfully executed by J.M. Irrigation in direct coordination with other contractors involved.