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A Race Against Time

When a creek slope failed along Kee Branch in February 2015, more than property was at risk. A large-diameter sewer line was within feet from exposure, and a failure of the line could release thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the creek. Thanks to a strong relationship with the City of Arlington and readily available, in-house expertise, Freese and Nichols responded quickly. Our team of geotechnical, stormwater and utilities engineers, and fluvial geomorphologists partnered with the City to develop an innovative and sustainable repair solution: a “bio-technical” slope. This repair system combines the stability of soil reinforcement with the erosion protection of a vegetated slope. The reinforcement also allows for steeper slopes, which enabled the project to occur under the umbrella of a nationwide environmental permit with no additional remediation efforts required. These repairs equipped the City with an additional strategy for protecting utilities near creeks, a timely effort that prepared them for heavy rains and flooding that spring.