Washington, DC District Department of Energy and Environment

Branch Avenue Stream Restoration Design-Build

Straughan was the Primary Designer on a three-phase design-build contract for stream restoration at Branch Avenue Park constructed in 2020 in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC.


Our Approach

The purpose was to provide habitat improvements and stabilize storm drain outfalls in support of DOEE’s MS4 permit goals. The design includes Step Pool Stormwater Conveyance (SPSC) used in combination with the design of a stream-wetland complex supporting the establishment of creation of approximately 4,200 square feet of floodplain wetlands within a forested corridor.

Straughan made significant improvements to the proposed approach working closely with the construction contractor upon contract award. Our team prepared a thorough Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), which included survey of all trees within the project area to enable the team to accurately select access and grading areas that would minimize impacts to forest canopy. The changes to the proposed approach (including reducing upstream excavation and relocating the stream wetland complex downstream) resulted in a major reduction in impacts to large trees in support of DOEE goals.

Straughan also proactively coordinated with DOEE, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), DC Water, and DDOT to accurately determine project constraints, document preconstruction site conditions, including aging infrastructure, and plan effective communication with stakeholders. The project was constructed in 2020 with Straughan providing construction inspection and engineering support.

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Straughan was the recipient of a 2021-2022 ACEC Metropolitan Washington Engineering Excellence Honor Award for the Branch Avenue Park Design-Build Stream Restoration project!

Straughan, as the lead designer, completed the 100% SBE/DBE/MBE/WBE Actaeon design-build team under contract to the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The fully woman-owned business team successfully pursued and secured a challenging urban project to restore a functional stream, reduce pollution induced by erosion and create enhanced habitat for wildlife. By achieving these goals in the District’s socio-economically depressed area, the project created an urban oasis with a healthy stream and forest that reconnected the community with its park and stream, which was previously deemed dangerous and actively avoided. To realize these achievements, the team had to overcome extremely challenging parameters.

Learn more about the award winners here.

By The Numbers

The Results

Linear feet of stream restoration
Of deliverables on time or ahead of schedule
Impervious urban watershed

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