Storm Water Solutions (SWS) magazine named Peloton’s Upper Whites Branch/Bluestem Park stream restoration project to its eighth annual installment of its Top Storm Water & Erosion Control Projects awards. Each year, SWS recognizes new facilities and projects, as well as innovative upgrades and notable storm water and erosion control solutions. The winners were selected based on obstacles faced and overcome, and final goals achieved. Projects must meet population and regulatory demands, address aging infrastructure needs, and implement cost-efficient technologies and best practices. Peloton’s engineering, water resources, surveying, planning, and environmental staff worked together to restore 2,500 linear feet of Whites Branch within newly created Bluestem Park:
“To prepare the Upper Whites Branch Stream in Fort Worth, Texas for development, Peloton Land Solutions had to eliminate a 50-year-old stock pond and ephemeral stream.
“The pond was almost a complete mystery with regard to design and construction standards, embankment, composition, and foundation,” said Tim Whitefield, project engineer for Peloton Land Solutions. “Aside from some trees on the embankments, it appeared to be in good condition but the unknowns were too great to risk leaving it in place.”
If the pond’s dam were to breach, two major highways would be overtopped by the water and nearby residences would have succumbed to flooding. To prevent such a disaster, the project team chose to bring the stream channel back to its natural form—all the way down to the limestone formations. The design team took careful effort to make the formations look like those naturally occurring in the environment, while also serving as grade control for the project area.
“I had taken pictures of a nearby natural stream that had down-cut into fractured limestone, creating natural drop structures of its own,” Whitefield said. “When the initial dirt work on the site started uncovering lots of limestone boulders, it just made sense that they should stay on the site and serve in the same role as the limestone from the nearby stream.”
Native plants clustered in hydrozones reduce long-term water usage, as well. State and federal agencies have used the area owned by Hillwood Properties as a training ground.
“The decision by Hillwood to restore 2,500 ln ft of White Branch within Bluestem Park offered us a unique opportunity to provide an educational open space to the community that simultaneously deals with drainage in a natural and ecologically responsible manner,” said Russell Laughlin, executive vice president of Hillwood Properties.”