Cobb County and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enter agreement to improve Butler Creek

Kennesaw City Hall

by Rebecca Gaunt

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to move forward with improvements to Butler Creek as part of the Butler Creek aquatic watershed ecosystem restoration plan.

In addition to three proposed sites being considered in Kennesaw, five of seven sites are a go in unincorporated Cobb County. The five are streambank armoring sites, which means reinforcing the banks with protective covering, such as rocks, vegetation or engineering materials to reduce erosion.

The other two project sites, near detention ponds and wetlands, are in flux as coordinators have been unable to secure rights of entry from the property owners. The projects may need to be relocated to be accessible from county property.

Where Butler Creek runs parallel to Johnston Road, there are 350 feet of active erosion with plans for bank shaping, stone toe protection, and the planting of new vegetation. Along Loring Road, which intersects with Johnston, there are 380 feet of active erosion requiring stone toe protection and rootwad combination structures (interlocking tree materials).

Another site along Loring, closer to Jim Owens Road, requires 315 feet of stone toe protection and vegetation, with a second section needing 95 feet of shaping, stone and vegetation. The fifth armoring site is downstream of Cobb Parkway, a 325-foot section requiring stone and rootwad on the left descending bank and 250 feet of stone and rootwad on the right descending bank.

“The measures/alternatives do not reduce the flood risk for the homes along Butler Creek. The project is intended to provide environmental restoration in a degraded ecosystem, including improving/enhancing habitat for endemic species, reducing flows, reducing erosion, and reducing sediment in flood flows,” project coordinator Bill Higgins told the Courier in an email.

Cobb County has entered a partnership with the Corps to complete the project and is responsible for 35 percent of the implementation cost. The county’s share is projected to be about $2.6 million. In addition, the county is responsible for $708,000 towards feasibility studies. The Corps is responsible for design, construction and permitting. The county is assisting with land and right of entry acquisition.

Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.