Public Works and Environmental Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mon - Fri
703-324-5500 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449, Fairfax, Va 22035
Joni Calmbacher
Director, Stormwater Planning

Paul Spring Branch at Sherwood Hall Stream Restoration

Project Number: SD-000031-237

Project background

Channel incision and widening, floodplain mowed to top of bank

The proposed stream 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.

The stream restoration design team includes County staff from Stormwater Planning Division, Maintenance and Stormwater Planning Division, Utilities Design and Construction Division, Urban Forestry Management Division, Park Authority, Wastewater Collection Division, Land Acquisition Division, McCormick Taylor (design engineer consultant) residents along the project area, Civic Associations and other stakeholders within the community.

The Kirk Park pedestrian bridge crosses the North Branch of Little Hunting Creek, connecting existing Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) trails between Candlewood Drive, Karl Road and Colonial Woods Drive. The existing pedestrian bridge was installed several decades ago by an unknown party. Fairfax County subsequently assumed operation and maintenance responsibilities for the bridge, in coordination with the FCPA. The bridge is constructed of wooden support beams. These wooden structural elements of the bridge have deteriorated, and the bridge is no longer considered to be safe for public use. The new pedestrian bridge will be constructed of fiberglass structural components and wooden decking.

Project Description

The goal of the project is to improve water quality through restoration of approximately 12,000 feet of Paul Spring Branch and the North Fork of Little Hunting Creek, tributaries, stormwater outfalls and the floodplain within the stream valley between Mason Hill Drive, Sherwood Hall Road and Collingwood Road.

The project goal will be achieved by:

  • Returning the physical characteristics of the channel to dynamic equilibrium
  • Enhancing the ecological functions and processes within the riparian corridor
  • Creating sustainable channel dimension, profile and pattern appropriate for current and future hydrologic conditions of the watershed
  • Installation of grade control structures
  • Improving floodplain connectivity
  • Stabilizing the stream bed and banks to reduce erosion
  • Installing native vegetation
  • Improving the existing floodplain wetlands
  • Enhancing the ability for biogeochemical processing of phosphorous, nitrogen and suspended sediment within the channel and on the floodplain.

Grade control structures to be installed within the stream channel will mimic bedrock outcrops and beaver dams, and may include rock sills, cross vanes, step pools, riffles, boulder riffles and large woody debris jams. These engineered grade control structures are made of boulders, clay, logs, limbs, geotextile fabric and reinforced bed material.

The stream restoration design will minimize disturbance to the existing natural resources by:

  • Using the existing footprint of the channel to the greatest extent possible
  • Realigning the channel only where necessary to protect infrastructure and to achieve the most sustainable restoration potential
  • Minimizing the limits of disturbance to the greatest extent possible
  • Preserving as many trees as possible
  • Removing trees along the channel at risk of falling into the channel due to erosion and undercut roots

Project Location

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

The Kirk Park pedestrian bridge is located behind 8001 Candlewood Drive. See map for the bridge.

Project Phase



  • Design Start – Fall 2022
  • Removal of the existing bridge – Spring 2023
  • Design & Permitting Completion – Summer 2024
  • Construction Start – Summer 2024
  • Construction Complete – Winter 2025

What to expect

County staff is restarting the assessment and design phase of the project with a new engineering design consultant, McCormick Taylor. Community outreach efforts for the project will continue after stream assessment and pre-conceptual design deliverables are submitted to the County in Summer, 2023. Virtual and in-person community meetings will also be scheduled for review and feedback on the 35% concept design, 65% preliminary design, 95% final design. County staff will also continue to be available to meet with civic associations, small groups of residents, individual residents and other stakeholders to best understand the community’s concerns and receive feedback on the project implementation.

All community members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the project design review meetings. Additionally, a small group of volunteers from the community will be sought to work with County staff on a project Stream Team. Stream Team volunteers will be invited to attend more in-depth design development working meetings and field validation. Stream Team members will also serve as community liaisons to expand community participation and project outreach efforts through sharing design development insights with the community and providing feedback from the community to the County to help inform and shape the project implementation process. Project assessment and plan set deliverables will be made available in digital format when feasible and in physical copy in the Reference Section of the Sherwood Regional Library.

A pre-construction meeting for the community will be scheduled ahead of the Notice to Proceed being issued to the contractor, which will occur following the contractor prequalification and low-bid contract procurement process. Once construction is underway, County staff will provide thorough coordination and construction inspection on a daily basis, hold weekly progress meetings with the contractor and design/inspection staff, attend community construction progress meetings as needed/requested, offer a post-construction site walk for the community, and continue to provide project coordination and monitoring efforts to ensure success of the constructed project and installed native vegetation.

Design and construction of the new Kirk Park Pedestrian Bridge Project is being coordinated with the Stream Restoration Project. County staff will coordinate to identify opportunities to limit construction activities within Kirk Park and the community while also providing for timely implementation and installation of the new pedestrian bridge. Depending on the final design and construction timeline for the respective projects, the new bridge will be installed prior to or during the construction of the Stream Restoration Project. Further information and updates on the design and construction timelines will be provided.

Example of the type of pedestrian bridge which may be installed in Kirk Park:

Example of the type of pedestrian bridge which may be installed in KIRK PARK

Project Cost and Funding Source

The project costs are paid for by the County’s Stormwater Service District. The cost of project design and construction inspection will be available after authorization of the new task order with McCormick Taylor. The cost of the construction will be determined after bids are received for the construction contract authorization in FY25.

Presentations to the Community

Community Meetings for the project will be scheduled after the design task order and schedule is authorized and the stream assessment and pre-design deliverables are submitted to the County.

Paul Spring Branch at Sherwood Hall Stream Restoration Project


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

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