Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449, Fairfax, Va 22035

Craig Carinci,
Director, Stormwater Planning

Difficult Run Tributary Stream Restoration Project at Brittenford Drive

Difficult Run Tributary Stream Restoration Project at Brittenford DriveThe project consists of restoring approximately 5,500 linear feet of a highly degraded tributary of Difficult Run using natural channel design techniques. This project is part of Fairfax County’s larger efforts to restore many of the county’s degraded streams while improving overall water quality and the condition of the Chesapeake Bay.

The primary goals of the restoration are:

  • Stabilize the channel and prevent future erosion and degradation along the stream 
  • Restore native trees and herbaceous planting to promote natural reforestation
  • Develop a healthy ecosystem

Project Update

The project is under construction. The project is about 95% done with construction and planting is ongoing.

Project Description

This project was identified for stream restoration in the county's Fiscal Year 2017 work plan as a result of maintenance issues related to a downstream stormwater management (SWM) pond. In July 2016, staff of the Stormwater Planning Division initiated the design of the project and the final design was completed in June 2018.

annotated aerial photo
The project area is shown in red outline. Click to Enlarge

Project Location

The project’s main construction access will be off Brittenford Drive. This project starts from the culvert under Brittenford Drive and runs parallel to Brittenford Drive to the downstream SWM pond. The project is in the Fairfax County Park Authority property.

Project Benefits

  • Restoration of the ecological function of the stream corridor
  • Creation of in-stream and riparian habitat for wildlife and development of a healthy ecosystem
  • Reduction of high sediment loads to the downstream SWM pond thereby minimizing maintenance needs
  • Improvement of water quality through the removal of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Total Suspended Solids
  • Protection of infrastructure (properties and utilities)

Project Phase

The project is funded for design and construction. Construction work to begin in early December 2018.

Project Timeline

The project construction is expected to start in early December 2018. Construction is expected to continue for approximately 15 months and end sometime in March 2020, depending on the weather.

What to Expect

There will be heavy construction equipment in the area of the stream throughout the construction period. Residents may see excavators, dump trucks, loaders and back-hoes. Deliveries will enter the site through Brittenford Drive. Residents should expect periodic deliveries of material using dump trucks throughout the week starting after 7 a.m. on weekdays. Work may occur on weekends, during which deliveries will occur after 9 a.m.

Water in the stream may appear to be murky during construction; this is a normal consequence during an in-stream project. The proposed work will impact a good portion of the trail network within the stream corridor. Temporary trail closures will be implemented when needed to ensure public safety. 

Project Cost and Funding Source

Construction of the Difficult Run at Brittenford project is estimated to cost $3.7 million. Stormwater projects are funded through the county Stormwater Service District.

Presentations to the Community


For additional information please contact the project manager Michi Freund at 703-324-5825, TTY 711.

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