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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Restoration of Wakefield Run in Annandale to start this summer

Wakefield Run [Photo by Friends of Accotink Creek]
A project to restore Wakefield Run, a tributary of Accotink Creek in Annandale, is expected to start this summer.

Wakefield Run begins near Heritage Drive behind Braddock Elementary School, goes under the beltway, and flows into Accotink Creek in Wakefield Park. The stream receives heavy runoff from the beltway which is causing severe erosion, reports Friends of Accotink Creek (FAC). The restoration project is aimed at arresting erosion and stabilizing the stream bed west of the beltway.

The stream had been previously known as an “unnamed tributary” and was unofficially designated Wakefield Run after a public naming competition last year.

According to FAC, key features of the project include a plunge pool at the beltway culvert outlet, the use of rocks to redirect the channel flow, stone reinforcements to protect vulnerable banks, replacement of a pedestrian bridge, step pools, and crossings for Dominion Power vehicles and mountain bikes. Forty trees will need to be removed.

“Part of the project will require reworking the culvert outfall modifications poorly done during the I-495 express lanes construction, causing some taxpayer exasperation,” FAC states.

The total cost is $440,000, or roughly $400-$500 per linear foot. Seed funding came from the $75,000 the Fairfax County Park Authority received in compensation for the taking of land in Wakefield Park for the I-495 express lanes project. 

Additional funding came from the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services ($300,000) and Dominion Power ($35,000). The Fairfax County Park Foundation will solicit additional contributions from Fluor-Lane, the I-495 express lanes contractor, and Washington Gas, which will benefit from the project because the gas line crossing Wakefield Run will be better protected, saving potential repair costs, FAC states.

The timetable calls for permits to be received and ground broken by June. Construction should take place from July through October, with replanting in October. The project is expected to be completed in November.

According to FAC, fish habitat will improve after the project is completed, and the population of invertebrates living on the bottom of the stream bed is also expected to increase.

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