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State Highway Administration Restores Broad Creek and Wetland Headwaters in Anne Arundel County

Jul 31, 2015 02:38PM ● By Cate Reynolds

South River Federation Photo: Significant stream bank erosion in Broad Creek.

Creek Feeds South River that Flows into Chesapeake Bay

(July 31, 2015) –The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will restore 2,700 linear feet of Broad Creek to improve water quality in the creek. Located east of Harry S. Truman Parkway in Parole, Anne Arundel County, the $1.4 million project should be complete by spring 2016, weather permitting.

Broad Creek feeds directly into the South River, which is a major tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. According to the South River Federation (SRF)  Broad Creek is one of the most degraded waterways in the county. SRF contributed $130,000 toward the design of the project.

“The SRF has been studying this piece of property since 2006 documenting how rapidly and catastrophically the site was degrading. This is our number one priority for restoration and we were ecstatic to hear that the site was also a high priority for Anne Arundel County and SHA,” said Kirk Mantay, Executive Director of SRF. “We're so happy with SHA's continued attention to their environmental obligations and we are looking forward to additional partnerships with their staff.” 

A dam used in the mid-20th century failed in the 1970’s and released more than 30,000 tons of sediment and damaged the stream’s banks. This created unstable stream banks, which continue to release sediment and pollutants downstream, further impairing Broad Creek during storms. 

“Piece by piece, project by project, stream restorations, tree plantings and other storm water management facilities are making a difference in the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay,” said SHA Director of Environmental Design Sonal Sanghavi. “Partnerships like that of the South River Federation are helping to move projects forward to reduce nutrients from entering the Bay.” 

SHA’s work at the stream is part of the agency’s water quality improvements associated with the State’s Water Improvement Plan help improve water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Key components of the project include:
  • Restoring 2,700 linear feet of Broad Creek;
  • Stabilizing stream banks to deter erosion;
  • Constructing wetlands to encourage amphibian habitat;
  • Stabilizing two outfalls that drain into Broad Creek; and
  • Improving floodplain conditions to trap sediment and pollutants.
Additionally, crews will install natural log and stone structures, plunge pools and native vegetation to anchor soils and absorb nitrogen and phosphorus.

SHA coordinated closely with sister agencies including the Maryland Transit Administration and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration during the design phase to provide site access for construction equipment and material deliveries due to the proximity of their properties. This partnership will continue through the stream restoration project.

SHA’s contractor for the Broad Creek stream and wetland restoration project is Diversified Site Works, LLC of Odenton.