Stream Rip-rap work

The restoration work around the creek at the Greenbelt Metro’s north entrance has caused some concern from some residents.

Metro has recently dug out the creek bed and The flow through this portion of the stream and put a huge pile of rip-rap.

Randall Grooman, Metro’s director of the Office of Plant Maintenance said the work being performed is to restore the stormwater drainage area back to its originally constructed state.

“The area has never been adequately maintained since the station originally opened, and over the years has silted over from runoff from the surrounding areas. Because of the lack of routine maintenance, the area had become overgrown and was not adequately controlling runoff. After heavy rains, flooding conditions were a concern because of the lack of proper flow control.” – – said Mr. Grooman

However residents think the rip-rap is not necessary at all. “The flow is not high enough nor are there erosion issues that warrant it. Even in high flows from large rain events it still has never been high enough to cause erosion issues or bank failures on this side of the metro station. There is significant material, equipment, and activity at this site currently.” – said one resident.

The resident also complained that all the brush around the stream was cut to the ground so the steep slope next to the MARC tracks is exposed and they cut more trees down.

However Mr. Grooman said “The purpose of the rip rap is to control the runoff and reduce erosion (which was part of the original design and implementation). The rip rap is new and does stick out in appearance for now. But it will weather over time, and the grasses will grow back in for a more natural look (just as it had in the past). However, we will monitor the area and address issues in a more timely manner to avoid such a large-scale, and intrusive, renovation project. As mentioned earlier, the adjoining area will be re-landscaped and additional trees added.”