by Geoff Fox
Stream bank restoration work along Little Tonoloway Creek in Kirkwood Park is ongoing, with grading nearly complete and care continuing for about a year, according to state highway officials.
Shantee Felix, Assistant Media Relations Manager, MDOT SHA Felix said the streambank work, which started in 2018, is to stabilize the banks and adjust the water channel of the creek for a length of 2,000 linear feet.
“The improvements include enhancing the channel through grading, rock and wood structures, and vegetation to improve aquatic habitat and water quality,” Felix said.
Contractors Meadville Land Services, Inc. from Pennsylvania have been doing the stabilization work.
Native trees, plants, and groundcover appropriate to the region are being planted along the stream. Trees include pin oak, river birch, swamp white oak, silver maple, black elderberry, and others.
Plants and groundcover include common rush, switch grass, tickseed sunflower, and others.
The stream banks had eroded because the creek was moving too fast in many places, project officials said previously.
Contractors added “revetments” such as rock or wood features in the stream to slow down or absorb the impact of water movement.
Slowing the creek water helps reduce lateral erosion – where the creek banks fall in at the sides – and improve fish habitat.
In 2017, the MDOT SHA drew up an agreement with Hancock officials, got a restoration plan designed and put the job out for bids that December. Bids were opened in January 2018.
The project has spanned about over a year but portions of that time included delays due to storms and work restrictions from March 1 to June 15 to allow fish breeding over the spring.