Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

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TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449, Fairfax, Va 22035

Craig Carinci,
Director, Stormwater Planning

Paul Spring Branch at Sherwood Hall Stream Restoration, SD-000031-237

Project Update: July 22, 2021

Project background

Channel incision and widening, floodplain mowed to top of bank

The proposed restoration project is identified in the Little Hunting Creek Watershed Management Plan as LH9249 and LH9229. The existing conditions of the channels within the project area exhibit the typical degraded form resulting from channel evolution in response to many decades of development and the increase of impervious surfaces within the watershed: an overly down cut and widening channel, floodplain disconnection, tree loss, property loss, unbalanced sediment transport, accelerated channel erosion and accelerated channel migration.

Employees of the Stormwater Planning Division initiated the design of the project in October 2019. The design team includes the engineering design consultant A. Morton Thomas Inc., county staff from Stormwater Management, Utilities Design and Construction, Urban Forestry, Park Authority, Wastewater Management, Land Acquisition, residents along the project area, Civic Associations and other organizations within the community.

Project Description

The project includes restoration of 12,000 linear feet of Paul Spring Branch, its tributaries, stormwater outfalls and the floodplain within the stream valley between Mason Hill Drive, Sherwood Hall Road and Collingwood Road.

The goal of the project is to implement a sustainable project for the protection of property, health and safety, and improvement of water quality. This goal will be accomplished by restoring the stream’s dimension, pattern and profile to a form that is appropriate for current and future hydrologic conditions of the watershed. The proposed project will restore equilibrium to the channel and riparian corridor, allow for the effective conveyance of water and sediment without excessive channel erosion and migration, enhancement of habitat, improved species diversity and restore the ability of the channel and its floodplain to naturally process excess nutrients and sediment. The proposed project will also maximize the preservation of existing trees and soil, and will repurpose the fallen trees and existing streambed material within the restoration project.

The primary goals of the restoration are:

Improve Water Quality

  • Stabilize streambed and banks
    • Reduce sediment and nutrient inputs into stream system
    • Installation of grade control structures, channel dimension and alignment
  • Improve floodplain connectivity and ecological processes
    • Increase frequency and residence time of water on floodplain
    • Reduce force and volume of water within the channel during storm and flood events
    • Naturally process nutrients and sediments on the floodplain and within the streambed
    • Resilient and regenerative design of riparian system
  • Improve habitat for biological community
    • Native landscaping
    • Floodplain wetlands
    • Streambed and flow diversity
  • Protect Infrastructure (sanitary, water, etc.)
  • Maintain close coordination with community stakeholders

Project Location

View the downloadable map. The project area is shown in red outline.

Project Benefits

The benefits of this project include the protection of property, health and safety, and improvement of water quality.

  • Property will be protected by providing a stable stream bed, banks and alignment, which will reduce the rate of stream bank erosion and channel migration; trees at risk of falling will be removed or protected where possible; native vegetation will be installed to hold soil in place and provide habitat.
  • Health and Safety will be protected via improved water quality, protection of public utilities within the floodplain and stabilization of stream banks.
  • Improvement of water quality will be provided through the removal of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Total Suspended Solids.
  • The forest health will be improved through removal of invasive plant species, planting of locally native plant species and restoration of wetlands.


  • Field survey for assessment of existing conditions and the Hydrologic & Hydraulic modeling completed Fall, 2020
  • Community meeting for review of the pre-conceptual design is tentatively scheduled to be held in July, 2021
  • Completion of the acquisition of the easements necessary for implementation of the project is tentatively scheduled to be complete by January, 2022
  • Community meeting for review of the Conceptual design is tentatively scheduled for February, 2022
  • Community meeting for review of the 65% design is tentatively scheduled for May, 2022
  • Community meeting for review of the 95% design is tentatively scheduled for July, 2022
  • Final design is scheduled to be complete by October, 2022
  • The project is funded for the design phase. Construction funding is dependent upon future budget availability and allocations
  • A pre-construction community meeting will be scheduled once we have a construction contract and schedule

What to expect

As the project advances through the iterative design development process, community meetings will be scheduled to present the project and its design to the residents along the project and receive feedback from the community. Meetings will be scheduled for a project introduction, concept design, preliminary design, 95 percent design, 100 percent design/pre-construction and post-construction.

Project Cost and Funding Source

Design of the Paul Spring Branch @ Sherwood Hall stream restoration project is funded for $1,346,570. Construction funding is dependent upon future budget availability and allocations. Stormwater projects are funded through the county Stormwater Service District

Presentations to the Community

Paul Spring Branch at Sherwood Hall Stream Restoration Project: Public Meeting - July 1, 2021


For more information please email Project Manager Justin Pistore, Stormwater Planning Division, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, or call 703-324-5685, TTY 711.

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