South Ellerbe Restoration Project 

Concept Plan Rendering

South Ellerbe Restoration Project concept plan rendering (updated October 2020)

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.

The Stormwater Division 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 regarding the South Ellerbe Restoration Project, contact Sandra Wilbur.

Project Status Reports & Information

Project Survey Information

Public Info Session #1: July 27, 2017

Public Info Session #2: September 27, 2017 (Design Workshop)

Public Info Session #3: April 2, 2018

Public Info Session #4: May 2, 2022

  2. TECHNICAL Information

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).  

The second construction phase involved 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. This phase was completed in 2022. The “TECHNICAL INFORMATION” tab lists further details about the demolition and mass grading (SP-2021-02). 

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. 

For more information on the project phases, please see the South Ellerbe Restoration Project Status Update (PDF) issued February 25, 2021.  

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