South Ellerbe Restoration Project 

Project site before and after building demolition in 2018

South Ellerbe Restoration Demolition Project - 2018

The site at 808 West Trinity Avenue will be transformed into a constructed wetland and stream restoration that will filter polluted stormwater from part of downtown and nearby neighborhoods. This restoration will benefit both the community and the environment by increasing green space, improving water quality, and improving aquatic life in South Ellerbe Creek.

Stormwater & GIS Services has been working on watershed planning and restoration efforts in several major watersheds in the City. This project is in the Ellerbe Creek Watershed which drains to Falls Lake. The restoration will help the City meet the Falls Lake Nutrient Strategy, which requires the City to reduce nutrients from both new building projects and from older parts of the city. While Durham's Stormwater Performance Standards for Development govern new building projects, parts of the city were built before those rules were in place.  This restoration offers a unique chance to filter rain runoff in an urban area that was developed before the City’s stormwater rules were in place.

For information, contact Sandra Wilbur, Megan Walsh, or Lance Fontaine.

  1. STATUS
  2. Project Information
  3. TECHNICAL Information
  4. ESPANOL

Project Status: Ongoing

The City is constructing the South Ellerbe Restoration Project in phases. The first construction phase, the building demolition, was completed in late 2018. The “TECHNICAL INFORMATION” tab lists further details about the demolition (SP-2017-01).  

Phase two will complete the site demolition and a large part of the soil removal. This phase involves removing the existing parking lot and building foundation (approximately 2 acres of impervious area) and the top 2-3 feet of soil across the entire site. Project staff is working to find a suitable site for soil disposal.   

The third phase will be the wetland and stream restoration construction. The design team is currently working on the wetland and stream restoration design, permit applications and utility relocation plans. The wetland and stream restoration construction phase will take place after the soil removal phase. 

City Staff are always happy to take any input or suggestions for the project at any time. Please email Please email  Sandra.Wilbur@durhamnc.gov or megan.walsh@durhamnc.gov with any input, suggestions, or question about the project.

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