Virginia Ecological Services
Northeast Region

Completed Projects

Wiley Drive Bridge Replacement | Wasena Dam Removal | Beaver Run Stream Restoration

Wiley Drive Bridge Replacement Project, Roanoke, Virginia
The Wiley Drive Bridge Project involved the replacement of a bridge across the Roanoke River in the City of Roanoke, Virginia.  The project included the removal of 120 feet of existing bridge and replacement with an open-bottom bridge with mid-channel piers.  The purpose of the project was to restore fish passage, recover habitat for the federally listed endangered Roanoke logperch, facilitate flood flows under the bridge, and enhance access for recreational boaters. 

Culverts in the previous bridge were undersized and elevated above the bed of the river, effectively blocking upstream fish migration in low flow periods and exacerbating flood events.  The new bridge permits unobstructed passage of fish and directly benefits the Roanoke logperch that occupies this stretch of river. 

The City of Roanoke is the owner of the bridge.  The FishAmerica Foundation, City of Roanoke, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were responsible for project management and construction supervision.  Project planning progressed to implementation when $179,000 in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds were obtained to support construction costs.  For additional information on the project, visit the ARRA website. Funding support was also received from the Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, FishAmerica Foundation, and the City of Roanoke.  A local southwest Virginia firm, Hammond-Mitchell, Inc., completed the construction in Spring 2010. 

A formal ribbon cutting ceremony was held June 25, 2010.

Photo of Wiley Drive Bridge before replacement
Photo of Wiley Drive Bridge Before Construction
Photo of Wiley Drive Bridge after replacement
Photo Taken After Replacement of Wiley Drive Bridge

Photo of ribbon cutting event for the Wiley Drive Bridge Replacement Project
Congressman Bob Goodlatte and City of Roanoke Mayor David Bowers at the Wiley Drive Bridge Replacement Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Fact Sheet for WIley Drive Bridge Replacement Project

Wasena Dam Removal, Roanoke, Virginia
The Wasena Dam Removal Project was successfully completed in February 2009.  It involved the demolition of a 255-foot long dam across the Roanoke River in Roanoke, Virginia and the relocation of an internal sewer line below the bed of the river.  The Wasena Dam was constructed in 1933 and consisted of a 42-inch overflow sewer line encased in concrete and backed with metal sheeting. The structure formed a six foot dam within the river channel of the Roanoke River with tail waters extending upstream for 2 miles.  The sewer line encased by the dam was abandoned in 1989 after the construction of a new interceptor line and an inflow and infiltration study conducted in 1998 found multiple cracks and leaks within the dam. 

Removal of the dam provided passage for fish and recreational boats, supported endangered species recovery and aquatic habitat restoration, and eliminated a water contamination risk. Thirty miles of mainstem river channel on the Roanoke are now open to fish and boater access, along with another one hundred and fifty-five miles of tributary streams upstream of the dam.  Removal of the dam helped to promote recovery of the federally listed endangered Roanoke logperch by directly restoring 3,900 linear feet of habitat inundated by the dam’s tail waters and promoting genetic mixing among formerly isolated logperch populations. 

Funding support was received from the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FishAmerica Foundation, and Western Virginia Water Authority.

Photo of Wasena Dam before removal
Before Photo of Wasena Dam
Photo of Wasena Dam Removal Project after completion
Photo After Removal of Wasena Dam

Fact sheet for Wasena Dam Removal Project

Beaver Run Stream Stabilization Project, Madison County, Virginia
Beaver Run is a small stream located in Madison County, Virginia with a drainage area of 1.64 square miles. The stream became unstable due to unmanaged cattle grazing and streambank vegetation removal. Resulting erosion threatened the access road to the farm and several fences.

The project involved priority 1 and 2 (definition of stream restoration priority options- PDF 573 KB) restorations which included regrading 1,159 linear feet of streambank and relocating 376 linear feet of channel. Total project size was 2,385 linear feet. In addition, 1,785 of riaprian buffer was planted with vegetation and cattle exlclusion fencing was installed. Six j-hooks, 3 cross-vanes, and 1 double cross-vane were constructed (see examples below). An article by Dave Rosgen (PDF- 2 MB) discusses the different structures used and their application for stream restoration projects.

Goals of this project were to reduce sedimentation and stop loss of land.

The project was constructed using natural channel design techniques based on fluvial geomorpholgical concepts promoted by Dave Rosgen and others. These principles focus on restoring channel competency to move bedload through manipulation of channel dimension, pattern, and profile. Designs are based upon geomorphic measurements of similar streams that are naturally stable, and neither aggrade or degrade.

Photograph of J-hook structure used in stream restoration project Photo of crossvane structure used in stream restoration project Photograph of double crossvane structure used in stream restoration project
Credit: USFWS
J-hook
(click for full size photo)

Credit: USFWS
Crossvane
(click for full size photo)

Credit: USFWS
Double crossvane
(click for full size photo)

Benefits of this project included:

  • Low cost
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat
  • Improved water quality
  • Reduced sedimentation
  • Reduced loss of land
  • Improved aesthetics for the landowner

Partners included:

  • Private landowner
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The photos below depict the same section of the stream before and after construction. Eroding banks were regraded to a lower elevation to create a floodplain to reduce near bank stress. A rock structure was also placed on the left bank to reduce erosion by redirecting flow vectors away from the bank into the center of the channel. This reduces velocity and effectively depowers the water's erosive capability. This method uses approximately 80% less rock than rip-rap and works by forcing water to flow uphill in the near bank region and is an example of working with the river rather than fighting the river.

photo of Beaver Run before construction photo of Beaver Run after construction
Credit: USFWS
Photo of Beaver Run before construction
Credit: USFWS
Photo of Beaver Run after construction

 

Photo of stream section 1000 before restoration Photo of stream section 1000 after restoration
Credit: USFWS
Photo of stream section before restoration
Credit: USFWS
Photo of stream section after restoration

 

Photo of stream section 861 before restoration Photo of stream section 861 after restoration
Credit: USFWS
Photo of stream section before restoration
Credit: USFWS
Photo of stream section after restoration

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Last updated: December 6, 2012
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.