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Its 19.6 square mile watershed covers portions of Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. The lower portion of Four Mile Run, from I-395 at the upstream end to National Airport at the mouth, is contained in a hardened flood control channel and marks a rough boundary between Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.
The 2.3-mile hardened flood control channel, or levee corridor, is the focus of the project. Federal and local resources are being utilized on this exciting project, including a $1-million grant to study the possibilities for restoration and to construct a demonstration project. The municipalities are working closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in these endeavors.
The Four Mile Run corridor will be a place where citizens of Arlington County and the City of Alexandria can gather, recreate, and celebrate a shared waterfront legacy.
In an effort to contain the flood waters within the stream corridor, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) designed and constructed the 2.3-mile long levee corridor in place today. When the channelization project of Four Mile Run was conceived in the 1960s, the sole objective of the project was flood protection and, to that end, the project has been a success; no floods have occurred along its length since the project's completion in 1980. Although successful in flood control, the channelized section of Four Mile Run could be improved with respect to environmental and aesthetic attributes. The maintenance requirements for the channel have meant yearly thinning of vegetation and periodic excavation of sediment deposits on the channel bed. The nearly uniform trapezoidal shape of the channel does not offer the riffles, pools, and shady areas needed to sustain much of the aquatic life once found in Four Mile Run.
The USEPA grant application defined the project from the Shirlington Road Bridge to the mouth of Four Mile Run.
The USACE levee corridor runs from I-395 to the mouth of the Four Mile Run.
The current USACE project authorization covers the entire 19.6-square mile watershed.
The primary focus of the project will be on the levee corridor (Zone A) and near stream environment (Zone B). The upper watershed (Zone C) components also will be considered as part of the project if the installation of such components benefits the levee corridor (Zone A).
Near stream (Zone B) components are those items that are immediately adjacent to the levee corridor (Zone A) but outside of the levee walls. No definitive boundary has been set for this.
The following project delineation offers a general depiction of the project boundaries. Four Mile Run Boundaries
Ron KagawaDepartment of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural ActivitiesCity of Alexandria(703) 838-5041
Neil Sigmon, Co-ChairCitizen Joint Task ForceArlington County (703) 684-8622
Judy Guse-Noritake, Co-ChairCitizen Joint Task ForceCity of Alexandria(703) 836-3420
Claire O'Neill, Project ManagerUS Army Corps of Engineers(410) 962-0876
Laura Grape, Project CoordinatorNorthern Virginia Regional Commission(703) 642-4625