Cou​lwood Branch ​Stream Restoration Project

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The Coulwood Branch Stream Restoration Project is intended to improve water quality within the city's stream system. There are approximately 4,200 feet of stream running through both private and public property in and around the project area. The streams in this area are in various conditions ranging from stable to badly eroding. There is potential to restore, enhance, and/or preserve the streams in the project area. This project will create, enhance, and protect forested riparian areas and aquatic habitat.

Stantec and ​LaBella are the consulting engineering firms for this project .


  • Stabilize eroded stream banks

  • Restore the floodplain to its natural state and function

  • Change the stream path to a more natural design

  • Improve habitat for aquatic life

  • Preserve, enhance and create wetland habitat in the stream corridor

  • Enhance water quality

  • Retrofit upstream stormwater​ control measures (SCMs) to reduce pollution in Coulwood Branch and its tributaries.

​Estimated Cost: 3,500,000*

*includes all costs associated with this project such as planning and design, utility relocation, consultant fees, permits, construction, and landscaping.

The project team will manage the project through several phases. Specific work is conducted during each phase and general descriptions with timeframes are below. Public involvement is emphasized throughout the process.



PlanningCOMPLETEDJanuary 2012
Property Easement/AcquisitionCOMPLETEDMay 2016

​Project​ Team

Matthew Anderson, PE
Project Manager

Doug Lozner, PE ​
Watershed Area Manager

Matthew Gustis, PE​
Engineering Program Manager



Coulwood January 2018 Mailer.pdfCoulwood January 2018 Mailer
Coulwood Branch February 2017 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch February 2017 Mailer
Coulwood Branch May 2016 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch May 2016 Mailer
Coulwood Branch February 2015 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch February 2015 Mailer
Coulwood Branch October 2014 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch October 2014 Mailer
Coulwood Branch June 2014.pdfCoulwood Branch June 2014
Coulwood Branch February 2014.pdfCoulwood Branch February 2014
Coulwood Branch October 2013 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch October 2013 Mailer
Coulwood Branch February 2013 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch February 2013 Mailer
Coulwood Branch June 2012 Mailer.pdfCoulwood Branch June 2012 Mailer

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Project Phases 

Survey crews document the existing drainage system and surrounding areas. The project team uses this information, along with property owner input and requests for service, to analyze existing drainage system conditions. Staff hosts a public meeting to present the existing conditions analysis and obtain additional input from property owners. Several improvement alternatives are then developed and evaluated to determine the most economical and least impactful solution. The project team presents the recommended alternative to property owners for input at a public meeting at the end of this phase. This phase typically lasts 12 to 27 months.

The project team develops detailed construction drawings for the selected alternative, addressing pipe sizes and alignments, drainage channel widths, utility relocations and easement locations. A project team member may meet with individual property owners to discuss the drainage system improvements and how construction will impact specific properties. The project team hosts a public meeting to present the preliminary design plan, which illustrates specific improvements to properties, and begin the easement acquisition process. This phase typically lasts 21 to 34 months.

The project team obtains required Federal and State water quality permits and other necessary permits, such as permission to work within railroad and NCDOT rights-of-way, as necessary. This phase typically lasts 3 to 9 months and will overlap with the Design Phase.

Property Easement/Acquisition
Staff works with property owners to acquire ​​temporary or permanent easements. Easements provide permission for Storm Water Services to access the property, construct the recommended improvement and provide future maintenance. This phase typically lasts 9 to 12 months and will overlap with the Design Phase.

A competitive bidding process is held to select a qualified contractor to construct the project. By state law, the lowest responsible bidder is awarded the construction contract. This phase typically lasts 7 to 8 months.

Throughout construction, the project team works to minimize disruption to property owners. The Storm Water Services construction inspector serves as the main point of contact for residents. Notifications of key construction dates will be communicated to residents prior to construction.  This phase varies, depending on the specific project, but typically lasts up to two years.

The construction contract includes a warranty guaranteeing materials and workmanship for one year from the date of completion. The construction inspector conducts 6- and 11-month inspections during the warranty period. Upon notification, the contractor must repair defective items at no additional cost.