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Quantico Creek Restoration Costs Soar

Elected officials in Dumfries are suffering sticker shock.

It’s going to cost $1.3 million, about a quarter of the town’s $4.4 million annual budget, to restore just one phase of Quantico Creek. The creek is a small stream that traverses the town running from Interstate 95 past U.S. 1 and flowing into Quantico Bay – a body of water where the town someday hopes to develop waterfront access for its residents.

Now, following a meeting of the Town Council, officials say they will go back and review the study that outlined how the creek should be restored and how much it will cost.

“We’re not looking for another report. We’re looking for a way to move ahead,” said Dumfries Director of Public Works Richard West. “We’re just looking for some independent validation of the current estimate.”

Officials paid the independent firm of McCormick-Taylor of Glen Allen a combined total of $26,866 to produce the report and map the creek. The creek was mapped in four phases, or reaches, with the first reach extending from I-95 to U.S. 1. It’s going to cost  $300,000 to design the improvements,  and $1 million  to construct them, and that’s just for the first reach, said West.

That number is a far cry from what the town budgeted — just $200,000 in its five-year capital improvement plan — for all Quantico Creek stream restoration. 

In the first reach , “A Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) assessment completed in 2002 states that “the elevation of the stream bottom has dropped six to nine feet in the reaches between Fraley Boulevard (U.S. Route 1 North) and Interstate 95 between 1973 and 2002”. In addition, the tributaries eroded vertically to the elevation of the streambed. The banks were described as nearly vertical and bare and floodplain vegetation was sparse and of poor quality,” the report states.

Back in the 1970s, the creek was rerouted to accommodate flow from a sewage treatment plant, and new berms were built alongside the creek, according to the report.

Click here to read the entire draft report presented to town officials

Flooding and erosion along the creek bank has called a problem by town officials. West said it’s been at least six months since he’s been to a property that has experienced any type of major flooding or property damage caused by the creek.

“Back in June, we have some flooding and the creek rose, and some people in [the] Prince William Estates [neighborhood] complained about high water and debris in their yard, but there was no property damage,” said West.

Cost estimates to complete work on the three subsequent phases of the creek have not been provided, but West says each phase could cost as much as the first. The town is looking into federal funding to help offset the cost of the stream restoration but so far has been unable to win any grants.

Prince William County is also exploring costly stream restoration projects along the Occoquan River. In Woodbridge, a grant was used to restore Cow Branch, a stream that runs underneath U.S. 1.

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