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The Restoration

Nine Mile Run is a unique urban asset for Pittsburgh, in large part due to nearly eight million dollars worth of restoration work invested in it.

The Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration was an aquatic habitat improvement project completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2006. This project is the largest of its kind to be undertaken in a major metropolitan area in the United States and involved the restoration of approximately 2 miles of stream.

The restoration work incorporated techniques such as stream channel reconfiguration, constructed wetlands and pool and riffle sequences, stream bank stabilization, and native plantings. These improvements allow the stream to better respond to the high volume of water it receives during wet weather and increases and improves habitat for invertebrates, fish, and wetland plants.

The restoration was supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh. The project was designed by BioHabitats from Baltimore, with construction managed by Meadville Land Services. Maintenance for the restored stream is the responsibility of the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works, which manages all major city parks.  NMRWA and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy work cooperatively with the DPW to steward the restoration.

NMRWA’s programs in the watershed municipalities strive to continue to improve water quality in the stream, to complement its physical transformation. This 2002 article from the Post Gazette has more information about the need for the restoration.  This 2006 story explains more about what was done, and why.

2007 Restoration Update

In 2007, Nine Mile Run’s banks needed to be further stabilized following a large storm. Here are the details:

WHAT $125,000 in stream bank repairs including planting and rock formations
WHY Excessive stormwater flow during wet weather has eroded stream banks more than originally estimated
WHEN September 2007
WHERE Nine Mile Run stream in Frick Park
WHO Army Corps of Engineers

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