College Street Drainage Alternatives Analysis


The purpose of this project is to perform a drainage basin analysis and provide alternatives to reduce flooding and improve drainage in the College Street watershed, primarily between Radford Street and Moose Drive, with the watershed analysis extending upstream beyond the project limits. This includes, but is not limited to, the closed storm drain system (CMP culverts) along College Street and open channels in the backyards of properties on the south side of College Street, draining toward Radford Street and Hickok Street. 

The drainage alternatives analysis will provide a decision matrix, which includes various factors:

  • degree of improvement (i.e. risk of future flooding and resulting damage), 
  • property impacts, and 
  • project costs.

Alternatives can be scored and ranked in order to establish a recommended plan. Funding sources will also be considered in making recommendations to reduce flooding. 

An important consideration in this study is to minimize negative effects of recommended drainage improvements. For example, College Street drains directly into the downtown flood study limits, so if increased runoff is discharged downstream from College Street, other areas of severe and repetitive flooding downtown could become worse. 

Public Input

Public input is an important part of this study. The Town requested public input, primarily from those in the study area, to provide feedback regarding current drainage issues. The Town had an informational booth set up at the Christiansburg Recreation Center in winter 2020 through the beginning of 2021, and asked the public to submit feedback online during that same time period. 

Additional Information

What is stormwater?

Stormwater is the runoff resulting from a rain event. Problems with stormwater occur when a large amount of rainfall happens in a short period of time. The ground becomes saturated and cannot absorb the water, so it becomes runoff. Impervious surfaces such as concrete and asphalt prevent the ground from absorbing rainfall, increasing the amount of runoff. 

For this study, runoff from College Street drains through existing pipes and ditches, where it ultimately ends up in a large diameter pipe near the intersection of Hickok Street and College Street. This pipe then drains through the downtown area, discharging to the Towne Branch and then Crab Creek streams.

What can I do about stormwater issues?

You have already taken the first step by reviewing this project information. The next step is to provide your comments on the drainage, erosion and flooding problems in the study area to the Town's team of engineers and consultants, who will evaluate your concerns and then develop a list of stormwater improvement recommendations to reduce or eliminate flooding and present those results at a future public meeting.

Click here for PDF of the below images. These images will also be on display at the Recreation Center.

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