City Council OKs Design Proposal for ‘Daylighting’ Town Creek


The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday to authorize Griggs & Maloney Engineering to conduct planning and design phase of “daylighting” Town Creek from Murfree Springs to South Church Street. Phase 1 of the Town Creek remediation project would not exceed $128,550. Construction could begin in the summer of 2017.

“By daylighting Town Creek, the stream will be returned to a natural condition which can be credited for stream mitigation with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC),” said Assistant City Engineering Sam Huddleston. “The credits would be applied for requirements to stream mitigation for the Cherry Lane Phase 2 or other projects.”

The draft Historic Bottoms Planning Study written by Ragan Smith Associates includes the recommended exploration of “‘daylighting’ Town Creek and extending the Lytle Creek Greenway to the Discovery Center.” The draft study is scheduled to go before the Murfreesboro Planning Commission in January following approval by the Historic Bottoms Study Steering Committee this month.

City engineers and consultants recently presented TDEC with the concept of daylighting of Town Creek and applying stream mitigation credits. TDEC responded favorably and made suggestions relative to design and permitting.

Town Creek currently flows in underground concrete culverts and a series of corrugated metal pipes from Murfree Springs to Cannonsburgh Village before emptying into Lytle Creek. Town Creek was placed in culverts as part of development and redevelopment projects in the 1950s and 1960s.

According to previous engineering inspections, the culverts are in poor condition and in need of repair or replacement. In 2007, a portion of the culvert system failed in the former KFC parking lot and had to be replaced. Griggs & Maloney has proposed abandoning the pipe and culvert infrastructure and daylighting Town Creek rather than replacing the existing structure.

The Town Creek Daylighting Phase 1 (Planning & Design) project would include the following as proposed by Griggs & Maloney:

• Surveying of the project area;
• Flow monitoring of Town Creek, 2016-2017 winter season;
• Planning and detailed design;
• Plans for diverting the stream flow during construction;
• Site plan for a ‘pocket park’ and surface trail connecting trails at Murfree Springs;
• Assist City with obtaining stream mitigation credits;
• Bidding phase assistance.

The cost for the design phase would be divided between the Stormwater Utility Fee and Cherry Lane Phase 2 design which is funded from loan proceeds. Construction costs for future phases of the project would likely have a similar split. Projected cost of construction is estimated between $650,000 and $1 million.

In February 2015, the City Council approved a conceptual design project with Griggs and Maloney to develop a “daylighting” approach to address the failing culvert sections.