Arlington County will be stabilizing part of the Donaldson Run stream to prevent erosion.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved without discussion a more than $888,200 contract with Sagres Construction Corporation to complete the work.
The project could provide relief to nearby property owners who have been trying for years to get the county to make improvements to the stream, but were stymied by land access issues, per a county report.
Two storm drain outfalls — openings that empty water into the stream — were in poor condition and discharged water onto private property, causing “significant erosion” downstream and possibly damaging private retaining walls and trees.
The county could not fix these outfalls, however, because they were left off “properly recorded” easements. And that was not the only problem.
“Since the stream meanders across multiple different properties, no one landowner could initiate a private project to stabilize the erosion,” the report said. “Residents were fearful due to large trees that had fallen on homes and private infrastructure, such as retaining walls and decks, and had been requesting assistance with the severe erosion for many years.”
The report credits county leadership for rallying multiple landowners within the Analostan Homes Association — a small townhouse community near a county-owned water tower — to provide temporary and permanent construction easements to make the project happen.
Impacted residents are “generally supportive of the project,” the report adds.
The project begins at the stream’s headwaters at the 24th Street N. storm sewer outfall and extends about 650 feet downstream to a previously restored portion of Donaldson Run.
For this project, 28 trees will be removed and Sagres will reforest the area with 630 trees and 188 shrubs, per a project webpage. The company will use rocks and plants to stabilize the stream banks from 24th Street N. to the place where previous work ended.
Sagres will replace a failing retaining wall at the end of a stormwater pipe, called an endwall, add back soil to the stream valley and install some rock, wood or earth structures that hold that dirt down, preventing more erosion, which the county calls grade control measures.
An informational meeting about the project will be held on Tuesday, March 28, according to the project webpage. Some tree removal has already begun on the site, the site notes.
Tree removal has been a significant concern among some residents during previous restoration projects including, recently, restoration work on Donaldson Run farther downstream.
Construction is expected to begin in April or May and take about nine months. Sagres will access the construction site from 25th Street N. and the 11-acre hilltop property called Missionhurst.
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