Swannanoa River Restoration Project
The Swannanoa River Restoration project was completed in early August 2021. Less than two weeks later Tropical Storm Fred swept through western North Carolina. Eight inches of rain fell in Black Mountain in only 24 hours causing flash flooding conditions through the region, resulting in a federal disaster declaration. The new vegetation in the restoration work had not been planted long enough to be established, which resulted in devastating damage to the project. Repairs will cost approximately $200,000.
The Town is working with multiple agencies to secure any financial resources available to restore the restoration work. At this time no financial awards have been made, and a schedule for repairs has not been determined.
The Swannanoa River Restoration Project will restore and stabilize approximately 1,700 linear feet of the Swannanoa River located at Veteran's Park.
The Veterans Park reach of the Swannanoa River is suffering from bank erosion, degraded aquatic habitats, fine sediment pollution and loss of land. Left unchecked, the condition of the river will continue to degrade water quality and aquatic habitats, and threaten park facilities on the left bank and a sanitary sewer main on the right bank.
The primary goal of the stream resotration project is to stabilize the eroding banks and river bed using natural materials such as stone and wood and native riparian plantings to address channel instability. In areas where banks are eroding, bank grading will lessen steep slopes and allow for the installation of bio-engineering practices to quickly establish native riparian shrubs and their stabilizing root masses. In-stream structures will be used to provide grade control in the river bed and direct flow to the center of the channel, which will help reinforce stabilized banks and promote the formation of riffles and pools.
Mobilization for the project will begin on Monday, May 17, 2021. A hellbender survey will be conducted and species will be relocated if necessary.
Equipment will access the park from the Montreat In-the-Oaks trail location. Please do not be alarmed to see equipment in the river.
The front 9 of the disc golf course will be closed during construction. The back 9 of the Disc Golf Course, the Community Garden, the baseball fields, the playground, and Grey Eagle will remain open.
Caution tape will be in place around the construction area and we ask that you do not disturb or enter the construction area.
We would like to thank our funding partners: Duke Progress Energy, the Pigeon River Fund, and the Department of Water Quality.
We would also like to thank Montreat College for their help with this project as well.
The anticipated completion of the project is mid-August.