WSSI worked with the City of Roanoke to transform a dilapidated stream channel and silted pond into a pollution-reducing ecosystem via stream and wetland restoration. WSSI staff maximized the functionality for reducing bacterial and sediment pollution in the watershed, making the most of the funds from the local stormwater utility and a grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (SLAF).

The Challenge

After the former Roanoke Countryside Golf Course was abandoned, the Lick Run at Highland Farm stream corridor was left to deteriorate. Over time a failed cart path crossing formed a channel blockage, driving bank erosion, while the former green-side pond began to silt in as the embankment failed. Floodplain areas were overtaken by invasive species. Beginning in 2019, City staff worked with WSSI to restore the stream and riparian corridor to limit erosion, optimize ecological value, and maximize floodplain retention.

Our Solution

During initial site assessment WSSI staff recognized an opportunity to expand project benefits by considering more than just main channel areas – identifying an adjacent stormwater outfall as a major source of sediment and instability. Even with the constraints of a SLAF grant funded budget, WSSI engineers were able to create a design that maximized stream stability while providing enhanced floodplain storage and treatment of stormwater inputs from the adjacent multi-family housing complex. The design team went beyond the original scope (600 linear feet of restoration on Lick Run), incorporating tributary channel restoration/outfall stabilization with a Level I treatment wetland. This allowed designers to route stormwater tributary flows through the created wetland area along a significantly lengthened flow path. The addition of the tributary restoration provided the added benefit of eliminating severe erosion at the outfall and shifting the channel away from an existing sanitary alignment – better protecting the sewer system and reducing future maintenance requirements. The end result from WSSI’s turnkey design-build is a project with enhanced ecological function and pollutant removal benefits beyond those originally envisioned.

Project Facts
  • Owner
    City of Roanoke
  • Location
    Roanoke, VA
  • Size
    ~700 lf of stream, >4 acres of riparian/wetland habitat
  • Nathan Staley

    Roanoke, VA

  • Stephen Fisher

    Roanoke, VA