Faced with complex site constraints for the urban Towne Branch stream restoration project, Wetland Studies and Solutions (WSSI) and the Town of Christiansburg worked together to restore the stream as a focal point of the public recreational areas that surround it while providing measurable water quality improvements.

The Towne Branch stream restoration was completed in 2018, and has demonstrated structural and ecological integrity in weathering several large tropical storm events. It is tied to the landscape around it in part through educational signage from WSSI that highlights the unique features of the project and surrounding historic resources.

WSSI conducted this work under our contract with the Town to provide Stormwater and Environmental Engineering Services Agreement; a state Stormwater Local Assistance Fund grant provided the necessary funding.

The Challenge

Provide 2,000 linear feet of stream restoration in an urban watershed to meet TMDL permit goals, and establish the restored stream as a focal point of the public recreational areas that surround it.

Factor in public use of the surrounding playgrounds, ball field, skate park, and aquatic center; accommodate FEMA floodplain requirements; and address an aerial sanitary sewer crossing, varying channel conditions along the length of the stream, and the presence of historic resources.

Our Solution

WSSI’s on-site data collection included mapping the site’s natural resources by delineating and survey-locating wetlands and other Waters of the U.S., surveying for endangered and threatened species, and completing a tree inventory, and also documenting cultural resources, an important piece of the permitting process for obtaining federal permit authorization.

WSSI completed a detailed watershed analysis, then developed concept design plans and met with the Town in the first of several collaborative design meetings. Next, WSSI developed detailed grading and profile plans, and assessed the proposed restoration’s impacts on the 100-year floodplain using pre- and post-construction floodplain models.

The Town awarded WSSI a separate contract for construction phase services including permit renewal, assistance with bid package preparation/review, easement support, and construction oversight. WSSI coordinated with the contractor and Town staff to review and approve submittals, track construction progress, handle field adjustments, and review as-built information.

Project Facts
  • Owner
    Town of Christiansburg
  • Location
    Christiansburg, VA
  • Size
    2,000 linear feet
  • Nathan Staley

    Roanoke, VA