Fairfax County will build a levee and pumping station to protect homes and other property in the Huntington neighborhood from flooding.
This is a complicated project that will require review by local, state and federal agencies, and will take up to seven years to design and build the levee. Completion is scheduled for spring 2019.
Voters approved a $30 million stormwater bond in November 2012 to fund the construction of the levee and pumping station.
The Huntington community floods due to tidal surges from the Potomac River and flash flooding from the Cameron Run Watershed. The community was built prior to enactment of the current floodplain regulations.
Since 2002, three floods have damaged vehicles and other property in this neighborhood. There are 160 homes in the FEMA-designated floodplain that are at risk in the future.
At Fairfax County’s request, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied the best ways to protect Huntington from future floods. The study examined a number of options, including dredging Cameron Run, buying the flood-prone properties and flood proofing individual homes. The study found that a levee and a pumping station are the most cost effective ways to protect Huntington. Fairfax County awarded a contract to the engineering firm of ARCADIS to design the levee and pumping station based on the Corps initial concepts.
While the levee can prevent flooding of houses from the types of storms that have happened in the past, it is not designed to offer protection from flooding that is caused by storms that are greater than a 100-year event (a storm that has a one percent chance of occurring in a given year).
Based on the conceptual design prepared by ARCADIS, the project details include:
Levee - Earthen embankment and I-wall combination
- 2,800 feet long (beginning west of Fenwick Drive and running eastward to the Riverside apartments)
- 6 to 11-foot high earthen embankment (height is dependent upon the elevation of the existing ground along the alignment of the levee)
- 4-foot high I-wall on top of the earthen embankment
- 13 feet wide at the top of the embankment including an 8-foot wide asphalt trail
- Average of 43 to 68 feet wide at the base, dependent upon the height of the levee
- Buried collection drain along the toe of the levee to control ground water seepage
- Buried concrete box culverts running parallel to the levee to divert stormwater to the pumping station during large storm events
- Pumping station facility, located on the east end of the levee
While the levee can help mitigate flooding of houses from the types of storms that have happened in the past, it is not designed to offer protection from flooding that is caused by storms that are greater than a 100-year event (a storm that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year).
The levee is a complex project that likely will require:
- Permits from local, state and federal agencies
- Environmental and other reviews by state and federal agencies
- Construction in a wetlands, which is regulated by state and federal agencies
- Acquisition of land and easements
- Relocation of existing utilities
This complex project is anticipated to take three to five years to design, with an additional two years for construction (from November 2012).
The county is proceeding on the following schedule:
Project Design Phase I (June 2013 – January 2014) -
- Data Collection
- Site Study
Project Design Phase II (January 2014 - Winter 2017)
- Schematic Design
- Design Development
- Construction Documents
- Land Acquisition
- Construction (Winter 2017 - Spring 2019)
For more information or to submit questions or comments about the Huntington Levee project, please call 703-324-5800, TTY 711, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.