SMC was contracted by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to perform a design/build project in an ephemeral stream running through a historic cemetery at the Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church in Annapolis, MD. The cemetery has housed the graves of African-American community members for more than 150 years, including former slaves and their descendants, as well as Harriet Tubman’s descendants. This project was conducted in conjunction with the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, Watershed Protection and Restoration Program as well as the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund and required extensive coordination between the client, funders, governmental agencies, archeologists, and the property owner.
The project encompassed over 650 linear feet of channel that had experienced serious bank erosion and was frequently inundating the graveyard in high flows. The design utilized an adaptation of the Step Pool Conveyance System (SPCS) (also known as Regenerative Stream Conveyance [RSC]) practice to accommodate needs for functionality and aesthetics necessary for the location. A series of plunge pools was installed in conjunction with an imbricated channel in order to adapt this method to the extreme constraints of the existing grave locations. The design included detailed hydraulic modelling intended to keep the 100-year storm flows within the channel, eliminating further impacts to the graves. Foot traffic from the church to the cemetery was facilitated with the addition of a wooden pedestrian bridge over the channel.
Through a highly coordinated design and project management process, SMC was able to keep this project on schedule and on budget to meet the needs of the client, expectations of funders, manage the expectations the land owner, and improve water quality.