Cat Creek is situated in the Holly Springs community east of Franklin.
stream restoration project designed to stabilize eroding stream banks
and improve habitat for fish and other wildlife is underway on Cat
Creek in the Holly Springs community east of Franklin.
will restore and protect more than 1.6 miles of stream through four
properties, three owned by the N.C. Department of Transportation and
one by Sue and Jim Waldroop of Holly Springs.
Along previously straightened and severely eroding parts of the stream,
the project will move the creek back into its original position in the
floodplain and give it a curvier, more natural course. Construction
along more stable sections of the stream will lower stream banks and
enhance fish habitats such as pools and small rocky rapids.
“This is a really interesting project that will be a big improvement
for Cat Creek. We’re excited that it is almost complete,” said Jenny
Sanders, director of the Franklin-based Little Tennessee Watershed
Association (LTWA). “I walked the site recently with the design team,
and I was really impressed with the results.”
The Ecosystem Enhancement Program, an initiative within the N.C.
Department of Natural Resources, oversees the Cat Creek project. The
project is funded by N.C. Department of Transportation to compensate
for unavoidable environmental damage caused by
transportation-improvement projects, as well as fees paid to compensate
for environmental impacts from other development projects within the
Little Tennessee watershed.
The project also will restore wetlands along portions of Cat Creek by
removing fill dirt from a golf course that formerly used portions of
the project site, restoring the original wetland soil elevation, and
allowing wetland plants and wildlife to thrive.
To control erosion, materials such as matting, grass seed, and straw
mulch are used to stabilize bare soil daily, and contractors will plant
grasses, wildflowers, shrubs and trees this winter in order to provide
shade and stabilization for the creek and wetland areas.
The Raleigh office of Earth Tech-AECOM designed the project, and
Raleigh-based Fluvial Solutions is handling construction. The state
Department of Administration chose the construction firm through a
competitive bid process, which was open to all contractors with a
highway or unclassified grading license.