News on the Four Mile Run Restoration Project


What is the restoration project?

Did you know there was a restoration project planned for lower Four Mile Run? Arlington County and the City of Alexandria have been working with a citizen task force for several years to plan the project. The Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan was adopted in 2006 and Design Guidelines in 2008.

There are two sites where work will be completed. Site 2 is the Arlington side of the stream, from Mt. Vernon Bridge to Rt. 1.   Site 3 is the wetland area on the Alexandria side.

4MR Site 2 and 3


Arlington Living Shorelines Project (Site 2)

Site 2 is the Arlington side of the stream, extending from the Mt. Vernon Bridge to Rt. 1. The work in this area will include removing the large stones (rip-rap) along the stream bank, terracing the banks, and replanting with native plants. Structures known as “living shorelines,” which are small breakwaters made of stone with wetland plants behind them, will be installed along the bottom of the stream bank. A viewing platform will be constructed along the stream bank as well. The native plants will include pickerelweed, arrow allum, three-square, bee balm, common rush, black-eyed susan, mountain mint, goldenrod, and more. Although initial plans put out to bid required that the work be completed from within the stream channel, this was not feasible due to excessive risk and cost. The revised construction plans will use part of the park area and bike trail for construction access and staging.

A detour is in effect for the Arlington trail users. Learn more about the trail detour.

Alexandria Wetlands Project (Site 3)

Site 3 is the wetland area on the Alexandria side of the stream. The wetland will be restored to its historical       condition.   The area will be graded, invasive plants removed, native plants planted, and a new pervious trail will be constructed. The plants include yellow pond-lily, annual wild rice, arrow allum, rose mallow, square-stemmed monkey flower, blueflag iris, river bulrush, and more.

Project Schedule:

Arlington Living Shorelines
Construction bid:
Spring, 2016

Construction start:
Summer/Fall, 2016

Construction end/planting:
Fall, 2017

Alexandria Wetlands Project (Site 3)
Construction start:
Spring, 2015

Construction end/planting:
Spring, 2016

Four Mile Run Park Wetland Restoration – Alexandria Portion of Project

As part of the Four Mile Run Restoration Project, a new emergent tidal wetlands will be created by removing, lowering, and terracing the riverside portion of Four Mile Run Park.  This will establish and restore the historic wetlands priors to the construction of the flood control channel.  The improvement will not extend into the existing forested wetlands and the tidal freshwater marsh.  This will require removal of some existing artificial fill. An upland trail will be included to serve as a buffer between the proposed emergent tidal wetland and the existing forested wetland.

The project is located in the wetlands between Mt. Vernon Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue, as shown on the map below. There will be periodic pedestrian and cyclist detours in the Park during construction.

Alexandria Wetlands Map







Alexandria Construction Timeline






















For questions pertaining to the Alexandria portion of construction, please contact Mike Gales, on-site Construction Manager, at 410-952-7686. For questions on the overall project, please contact Dana Wedeles, Park Planner, or 703-746-5491

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