Designing a fully-functional stream and floodplain system tailored to an urbanized watershed
Stream channels in the City of Aurora were experiencing significant impairments due to rapid urbanization within the watershed. The result? Diminished water quality and an increased flooding risk for infrastructure. Following a detailed geomorphic assessment our team completed (that totaled more than 170 miles), the City of Aurora kept Stantec on to lead a multi-disciplinary team in developing stream restoration and sanitary sewer protection designs, a regional trail system, and floodplain study.
We used natural channel design and bioengineering techniques to stabilize the eroding stream channels and enhance aquatic, riparian, and terrestrial ecosystem functionality. Improvements included establishing new channel and associated floodplain corridors, creating appropriate riffle/pool morphology, reestablishing emergent wetlands, and replanting native species. Our team provided construction oversight and field engineering, allowing for flexible field changes and design optimization throughout implementation.
The new floodplain provides increased water storage capacity—reducing the risk of flooding to adjacent properties—and improved aquatic and riparian habitat. Public accessibility was also enhanced throughout the riverscape with a new regional bike trail that connects to an extensive existing trail network.
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