About 30 residents, Braddock District Supervisor John Cook and officials from organizations from around Fairfax County participated in a groundbreaking ceremonyWednesday morning for the Wakefield Run stream restoration project in nearby Annandale.
The restoration project aims to create a stable stream crossing using a natural channel design that will also improve water quality in Accotink Creek and stop the erosion in the streambed.
The stream, which was named Wakefield Run following a public naming contest that included more than 20 suggestions, originates in Annandale and flows under I-495 and into Accotink Creek.
“I hope that this project will make it very clean that the county board remains very committed to doing our part and more to clean up the Accotink bay watershed,” said Cook in his remarks on Wednesday.
The multi-use stream crossing within the stream’s easement deteriorated over the last few years and was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Lee, prompting the need for a new crossing. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD) designed the project.
“This will be a more aesthetically pleasing crossing, but also encourage environmental benefits as well,” said Laura Grape, executive director and district administrator for NVSWCD. “Bikers will still be able to cross, it will still be able to hold the Dominion Power trucks, and it will serve the same purpose as a fair-weather crossing while diminishing some of the environmental impacts those crossings are known for.”
The restoration project was a partnership between several private and public groups, including Cook’s office, the Friends of Accotink Creek, the Fairfax County Park Authority, Dominion Power, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Fairfax Trails and Streams, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) and Earth Sangha.
About $75,000 for the $440,000 project came from the Park Authority, who received the money from the Express Lanes Project, and the DPWES contributed $300,000. Dominion Virginia Power contributed $35,000 and Transurban Group provided $5,000 to the project.
“This is how we will make environmental management a reality in Fairfax County— not by waiting for someone else to do it, but for each of us stepping up and playing our part,” said Cook.” I hope this is another in a continuing series of examples of successful partnerships for our environment, our parks, and for the citizens in our community."
Other speakers on Wednesday included Anthony Vellucci, Braddock District representative on the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, James Patterson, director of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Tim Sargeant, manager of state and local affairs for Dominion Virginia Power, and Suzy Foster with the Friends of Accotink Creek.
Construction on Wakefield Run is expected to begin this month, with a project completion date set for November.
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