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Restoration of Tributary to Cranberry Run

Location: Harford County, Maryland Client: Maryland State Highway Administration

JMT restored and relocated a stream tributary that runs adjacent to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

Roadway projects can have serious environmental impacts, potentially resulting in stream systems that are laterally confined and incised due to channel straightening, open-channel piping, roadway embankments, and culverts across the floodplains. The coastal plain stream of Cranberry Run was one system that became altered due to roadway and industrial development close to the stream corridor.

The Maryland State Highway Administration chose JMT to restore nearly 800 feet of an unnamed tributary to Cranberry Run, which flows adjacent to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. JMT relocated the tributary from the roadway footprint and restored a natural channel and floodplain to minimize impacts to wetlands, waterways, and floodplains. The stream restoration project also maintained and discharged natural groundwater flows and seeps associated with Waters of the United Stated under the Clean Water Act. The restoration provided a new stream channel and associated floodplain capable of conveying water and sediment in a stable manner, and replaced the existing deteriorated stream channel with a new, natural stream channel to improve water quality and ecological benefits.

The design for the relocation and restoration of the stream channel provided a sustainable system with a channel capable of maintaining its natural bed of sand and small gravel with a highly-attached floodplain. This approach lowered channel shear stresses and resulted in stream corridor stability, as well as created floodplain wetlands; improved water quality through floodplain settling and filtering; and improved habitat for a variety of aquatic, terrestrial, and macroinvertebrate species.

JMT also performed a geologic study, watershed assessment, discharge analysis, geomorphic assessment, hydraulic analysis, and sediment-mobility assessment of the stream corridor. We performed the hydrologic analysis using the Natural Resource Conservation Service (formerly SCS) Technical Release 55 (TR-55) and 20 (TR-20) hydrologic models, and the hydraulic analysis was conducted using HEC-RAS. Our team prepared the geomorphic design report and provided construction drawings, erosion and sediment control design, and landscape design.

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