Rocky Branch Walnut Creek


Rocky Branch & Central Walnut Creek Watershed Study

Downtown/South Raleigh Area

We are doing a study of the Rocky Branch Watershed and the adjacent portion of the Walnut Creek Watershed located in southern downtown Raleigh.  The goal is to identify ways to improve the watershed by:

  • Reducing flooding impacts
  • Renewing stormwater pipes and infrastructure that is in poor condition
  • Improving water quality
  • Repairing streambanks

Study Area: In and near downtown Raleigh.

Provide your feedback and observations on stormwater issues and concerns with our Rocky Branch and Walnut Watersheds Study Survey and view the live results.

Project Details

Project Lead:
Stormwater Management



Sheri Smith, PE
Senior Engineer

Lead Department:
Engineering Services
Service Unit:




The study is being completed in phases. The first phase is complete and focused on:

  • Initial public engagement,
  • Collecting field data on the location and condition of streams & stormwater infrastructure,
  • Determining additional data needs to assess the watershed, and
  • Conducting stream walks to collect information about the condition of the streams in the watershed.

The second phase is underway. This work includes:

  • Modeling of the drainage network in Rocky Branch/Central Walnut Creek Watershed.
  • Water quality modeling.
  • Identification of improvement projects.

The study is anticipated to continue through mid-2025.

Project Engagement

Lead Department:
Engineering Services

About the Study Area

The watershed study area covers over six square miles and is shown in the map below.  This includes all of Rocky Branch Watershed and a portion of Walnut Creek Watershed.  These are two of the 36 watersheds in the city. Learn more about the Rocky Branch Watershed.

The study area is roughly bounded on the west by I-440, on the north by Hillsborough Street and New Bern Avenue, on the east by Peyton Street, and on the south by Western Boulevard and Walnut Creek. 

The rain that falls within this boundary finds its way through stormwater pipes, ditches, and streams to Walnut Creek then to the Neuse River.


You can zoom into the map below to see the location of the stormwater system and some recent stormwater projects. We maintain the areas in yellow. This is the stormwater system on City-maintained, public roads.