Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are open to the public by appointment only at this time. Please call or email 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

Old Courthouse Spring Branch at Gosnell Road Stream Restoration

Project Update

The project is in the construction stage.

Project Background

before picture of old courthouse spring branch at gosnell road
Present condition of the tributary to be restored.

This project was identified in the Difficult Run Watershed Management Plan for stream restoration and stabilization activities. It was placed in the county's Fiscal Year 2016 work plan as a result of severe erosion and maintenance issues related to a downstream stormwater management basin.

Project Description

The project will restore about 3,200 linear feet of natural stream channel, decommission an old stormwater management pond and replace aging and undersized sanitary sewer sections. The stream channel exhibits severely eroded and over-widened banks, head-cuts, and the potential for further bed and bank instability. This project is part of larger efforts to restore many of Fairfax 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.
  • Improve water quality through the removal of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and sediment.
  • Protect the high-quality forest downstream of the Vesper Lane Trail.
  • Create a healthy ecosystem by restoring the channel and planting native trees and herbaceous plants.
  • Reconnect the channel with its floodplain upstream of the Vesper Lane Trail.

Project Location

map - old courthouse spring branch - stream restoration
Click here for larger image. The project area is shown in yellow outline.

The project is located on private and public land west of Gosnell Road, extending downstream through Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley Park below the Vesper Lane Trail.

The project is in the Hunter Mill Magisterial District.

Project Benefits

The project benefits are:

  • Improved water quality.
  • Restoration of the ecological function of the stream corridor.
  • Creation of in-stream and riparian habitat for wildlife.

Project Phase

Construction of this project is expected to begin in the fall of 2019.

Project Timeline

The project design is complete. Construction is expected to start in fall 2019 and extend through spring 2021.

What to Expect

The project will require the use of heavy construction equipment. Dump trucks will deliver materials to the construction entrances at Tyvale Court and Vesper Street. Timber mat roads will be built through the stream valley to transport equipment and materials and protect tree roots. Some trees will be removed because they are falling into the channel or to gain access for construction.

Project Cost and Funding Source

Stormwater projects are funded through the county Stormwater Service District.


For more information, please contact Project Manager Charles Smith, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Stormwater Planning Division, or call 703-324-2467, TTY 711.

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