Snakeden Branch at Lake Audubon Stream Restoration: A Tale of Constraints, Creativity, and Collaboration

Under a Stream Stabilization/Restoration, Environmental, Permitting & Ancillary Services Basic Ordering Agreement, Stantec was awarded a Task Order by the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) to provide Stream Restoration Design and Construction Administration services for Snakeden Branch at Lake Audubon in Reston, Virginia.

Initial scoping of the site (approximately 800 linear feet) revealed a deeply-incised system, exposing multiple sanitary sewer laterals in addition to mainline crossings. Multiple other utilities including gas, electric, and fiber optic wires were scattered about the site, which was located in the bottom of a narrow, steep valley. Homes surrounded the site on both the left and right banks of the stream. A roadway bounded the upstream end of the project, while the downstream limit of the project was adjacent to the FEMA floodplain mapped on Lake Audubon.

While restoration of the site was deemed necessary for environmental benefits, infrastructure protection, and safety, the constraints observed on-site presented a host of challenges to successful design and completion. Through proactive collaboration amongst DPWES, Stantec, Environmental Quality Resources, L.L.C. (EQR), Reston Association, and several other stakeholders, many innovative solutions were explored and implemented to achieve a feasible design which satisfied key project objectives. Some of these solutions even “broke the mold” for more traditional approaches on these types of projects.

In this presentation, we will discuss project challenges, use of alternative materials and methods for design and construction, and lessons learned from the project.