View a larger image.
Flood Mitigation, Stream Restoration, Wetland Creation and Greenway Trail
Little Sugar Creek now meanders through open space between Princeton Avenue and Brandywine, with a greenway nestled along the stream's path. But it wasn't always so picturesque. Homes in that area used to flood repeatedly. Storm water runoff carried pollutants directly to the creek.
The Westfield Road project involved floodplain buyouts, stream and water quality enhancement projects and a one-mile greenway trail. Flood-prone homes were replaced with open space and wetlands designed to filter contaminants from storm water runoff.
Little Sugar Creek before...
...and after stream restoration.
Remove 70 flood-prone structures from the floodplain
Restore the curving path of the stream and stabilize the stream banks
Create a functional wetland system
Manage the amount of storm water runoff that flows into the creek
Measurably reduce pollution in Little Sugar Creek
Provide educational opportunities
Provide a public greenway
Floodplain buyout cost: $12.03 million
Sources of funding to buy property:
Federal and State grants: $6,941,325
Storm Water Services fees: $5,088,311
Stream and floodplain restoration cost: $2.43 million
Sources of funding for water quality improvements:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services: $1,628,031
NC Department of Water Quality: $406,000
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund: $400,000
Costs shown do not include $531,349 spent by Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation on the greenway trail.
|This project addressed a number of flooding and pollution problems. Homes in the Myers Park Manor neighborhood had repeatedly flooded. The houses were built before ordinances were passed to restrict building in flood-prone areas.
A combination of federal, state and local dollars was used to buy homes in the floodplain. Little Sugar Creek still floods, but fewer homes are in harm's way.
Westfield Road under water
in the 1990's
Wetlands help reduce pollution in the creek
|Decades before, the stream had been straightened. This caused the water to flow faster, eroding the banks of Little Sugar Creek. Storm Water Services restored the stream's path to a natural, meandering shape. Water flows more slowly around the curves and that reduces bank erosion.
In open areas along the stream, storm water wetlands and other filtration features were created. The wetlands and types of plants in them help to remove contaminants from storm water runoff. The wetlands also temporarily store excess water, reducing the risk of flash flooding on the neighboring street.
The greenway trail along the restored stream is very popular with nearby residents.
Tim Trautman, P.E.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
Awards received in 2006 for this project:
"Government Project of the Year" - Charlotte Tree Advisory Commission
"Client Recognition Award" - American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina