Master Plan Digest: Working with the Water Infrastructure at Friendship Court

The existing water infrastructure at Friendship Court is more than 40 years old and nearing the end of its expected life. Based on the analysis conducted for this study by the Timmons Group, the design team determined that phased redevelopment should replace this infrastructure.

Replacing the water infrastructure will ensure enough capacity on-site for the number of units ultimately developed. It is important to note that water distribution and wastewater collection are currently available to support the proposed Friendship Court redevelopment.

A major infrastructure component that will not change is Pollocks Branch, a stream that passes through a buried box culvert that runs diagonally across the existing green space. Pollocks Branch is part of the City’s stormwater system, and it drains approximately 100 acres of downtown Charlottesville. Since downtown is mostly made up of impervious areas like parking lots, streets, and sidewalks, Pollocks Branch carries a large amount of water during rainstorms.

Attempting to relocate the culvert would be expensive enough to make redevelopment impossible. However, the Strategic Investment Area Plan calls for creation of a greenway across the Friendship Court site. Keeping Pollocks Branch in place and running a greenway above it as it crosses the site offers an elegant way to meet the SIA Plan’s goal.

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What do you think? Continue the conversation with a comment below.

In our next Master Plan blog post, we’ll examine the planning framework that guides all aspects of the plan.

Source: Friendship Court Redevelopment Master Plan, December 2016 – What We Heard and What That Tells Us (Infrastructure Context)

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