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Stream Bank Stabilization Project



The Montour Run Watershed Association (MRWA) conducted the Montour Run Stream Bank Stabilization Project with the cooperation and support of the Montour Trail Council in two separate phases of effort over a period of several years.  The objective of both phases has been to protect the heavily eroded stream banks against further scouring due to high-velocity flows of storm water during future heavy rains.  Funding was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, under a $62,800 ReclaimPA grant.


a) Phase1: Rip-Rap Stone Installation


Temporarily using portions of the Airport-area section of the Montour Trail as a hauling road, the construction subcontractor, BKG Inc., trucked 1,600 tons of carbonate rip-rap rock material to twelve different sites along the main trunk of Montour Run.  Using a back-hoe to place this heavy material, BKG built up rock linings to protect erosion-impaired sections of the stream bank.

A total of 1460 lineal feet of stabilizing rock layers were installed. Much of the detailed technical work of surveying and mapping the stabilization sites, applying for agency permits, calculating material quantities, and preparing bidding documents was performed by Allegheny County Engineer Dave Wright.  This work was completed in the summer of 2001.


b) Phase 2:  Stream-Bank Plantings


Tree seedlings were installed on a heavily eroded stream bank of Montour Run early in May 2003.  A total of approximately 200 dogwood, box elder, and willow seedlings were planted by the Urban Tree Care Company on the west bank of the main trunk of Montour Run, near the Cliff Mine Road bridge crossing.  MRWA members and Montour High School student volunteers became involved in the project later, installing protective stakes and watering and mulching the fledgling trees.


These trees were to complement the earlier installation of rip-rap stone under Phase 1 of the project by further anchoring the soil on this steeply sloped stream bank section.  Additional benefits would include the shading of the stream for improved fish habitat. 


In volunteer work sessions jointly sponsored by Duquesne Light and the MRWA in April 2006, stream bank sections of the main trunk of Montour Run were again reinforced.  Teams installed numerous plantings in exposed sections of the stream bank in the vicinity of the Cliff Mine Road bridge and at the Park Manor Drive gazebo.  At both the Cliff Mine and the Park Manor sites, MRWA volunteers installed planting stock of burning bush, honeysuckle, butterfly bush, and forsythia. 


The Duquesne Light team applied a branch layering technique, installing layers of bundled branch cuttings of desirable low-growing species (dogwood and willow) anchored to the bank at high-water level.  Metal stakes were first driven into the bank, and following the installation of bundles, an intermediate layer of peat and a covering of straw were added.  The stakes were then bent over to anchor the composite of these layers to the bank.


PO Box 15509
Pittsburgh PA 15224-0509

2008 Montour Run Watershed Association