- Arlington and Alexandria collaborate to ensure flood protection for residents
- Crews to remove trees, shrubs and other plants in channel
- EPA-approved herbicide to be used sparingly
Beginning in early May, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will begin removing excessive vegetation from the Four Mile Run flood control channel. This maintenance is required to ensure flood protection for residents and businesses along lower Four Mile Run prior to the summer storm season.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) built the Four Mile Run flood control channel in the 1970s following several devastating floods in the border area of Arlington and Alexandria. The flood channel extends from I-395 to the stream’s mouth at Ronald Reagan National Airport. USACE designed the channel to a width and depth sufficient to carry Four Mile Run’s flows during major rain events. To ensure the protection of homes and properties adjacent to the flood control channel and ensure the structural stability of the flood protection measures, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria periodically must remove vegetation from the channel and in close proximity to the levees and floodwalls.
What residents will see
Starting in May, residents will see crews working in or near Four Mile Run, removing trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing in the channel. The plant material may be temporarily stockpiled in locations adjacent to the stream before it is loaded onto trucks for recycling or disposal. The herbicide, Rodeo, which is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for application on invasive trees and shrubs along water bodies, will be used sparingly.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria are working to limit the need for such maintenance in the future. The County and the City have partnered with the USACE and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission on the Four Mile Run Restoration Project, in an effort to return natural stream processes to the flood channel, while also maintaining flood protection. The restored stream will reduce sediment deposits within the corridor and also will include vegetation appropriate for a flood control channel. Construction on the restoration project is getting underway in 2015. The current channel maintenance activities relate to an existing maintenance agreement with USACE and not the restoration project.
For more information about the Four Mile Run Restoration Project, contact Doug Stephens (Arlington County – firstname.lastname@example.org ), or Dana Wedeles (City of Alexandria – email@example.com ).