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Town of Boone Streambank Restoration Work Begins on South Fork of New River

Streambank restoration over the South Fork of the New River recently started near the soccer fields just off of Highway 421. (Photos by Ken Ketchie)

By Nathan Ham

Work recently started along the South Fork of the New River on the former Bolick Property that the Town of Boone purchased in 2016 for the home of a new municipal center.

The area of land is located just off of U.S. Highway 421 between Brookshire Park and the Blue Ridge Energy office.

Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting, Inc. (BFEC) is working with the Town of Boone in the restoration of about 4,000 linear feet of the South Fork of the New River. The restoration work will involve stabilizing many of the streambanks along the river that have eroded over time. The natural channel design techniques used will include the installation of rock J-hooks that will concentrate water flow and deflect it away from the bank, toe wood and sloping of channel banks to create a more accessible floodplain. Some of the trees along the streambanks will be used as toe wood to stabilize the banks, which means the trees will be cut down and submerged to replicate a natural streambank . Once construction is complete, new native plant species will be planted. The streambank restoration is expected to take about six months.

The town council has not discussed construction dates for the new municipal center yet.

“I expect it will be a topic of the budget process for the upcoming year,” said Boone Town Manger, John Ward.

The municipal building is expected to combine the Boone Public Works office and the Town of Boone Police Department in a newer, bigger building. The public works building is over 60 years old and the current Boone Police Department building is almost 50 years old.

Overall, the size of the property is 53.8 acres and was purchased for $4.68 million.

In addition to the municipal building, with the property being so close to the Greenway Trail, a future park and greenspace is planned with this upcoming project.

The streambank restoration project will help repair eroded areas of about 4,000 feet of streambanks along the South Fork of the New River.

Sloping the banks is one of the ways that the restoration project will help alleviate erosion issues in the future.