The Town of Christiansburg contracted us to develop restoration plans for a degraded urban stream system. This creek is a tributary of Crab Creek and other sections have previously been restored downstream. Now efforts are directed to the most upstream extent of the creek. The highly urbanized drainage area, steep gradient, and constrained stream valley made this project particularly complex. We designed a step-pool stream system for the high gradient section while returning to a riffle-pool morphology for the lower gradient section of stream. The project was designed to reduce excessively erosive velocities so as to maximize the local ecological benefits. Step-pool design research and hydraulic modeling were used to ensure that project goals would be met. Homeowners were consulted to make sure that they had an opportunity to weigh-in on the project and ask questions concerning the different options to improve the degraded corridor. This is an essential part of every urban restoration project. The planting plan and construction sequence were designed to accommodate local residents while achieving the Town of Christiansburg’s goals.
- Reduction in nutrients and sediment
- Increased retention and infiltration of stormwater runoff
- Benefits to macroinvertebrate and fish habitat