US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website Website

James River Newport News Shoreline CAP 14

Published March 31, 2020

About: An approximately 600-foot section of riverbank along the James River is severely eroded by the combined effects of natural erosion processes; river flow, water level rise, and tidal, storm and wind driven wave action. The resulting 25-foot high receding sandy bluff is an imminent threat to existing public facilities, causing continual loss of land, threatening existing public utilities, including River Road, electric, gas, communications, public water and sewer lines, as well as creating dangerous conditions associated with the steep slope. The Norfolk District is performing a feasibility study to determine potential project solutions and federal government interest in stabilizing the shoreline along this section of the James River.  

Study Authority: Section 14 of the Flood Control Act of 1946, as amended, authorizes USACE to develop and construct streambank and shoreline protection projects to protect endangered highways, highway bridge approaches, public works facilities such as water and sewer lines, churches, public and private nonprofit public facilities.

Alternatives: Several alternatives were considered during the initial plan formulation effort.  Alternative methods of riverbank stabilization investigated include (1) the placement of vertical steel sheet piling, (2) a rock sill to stabilize the base of the slope and a berm, (3) rock filled timber cribs, (4) a combination of stone revetment, vertical sheet piling, (5) vegetative erosion control, and (6) precast modular retaining walls with stone protection at the toe.  Subsequent analysis and input from the non-Federal Sponsor resulted in the final array of alternatives. 



A0 No Action

N/A; the baseline to which all other alternatives are compared


Rock Sill (LPSTP) with Vegetated Berm


Stone Revetment


Stone Revetment with Vegetated Berm


Living Shoreline (stone toe and/or rock sill, vegetative erosion control, earthen berm)


CAP 14 Program Information: Under the standing authority, CAP 14 projects can provide protection of public facilities/ services and historic properties in imminent danger of damage by natural stream or shoreline erosion.  Feasibility Study costs are initially 100% funded (first $100,000) then cost-shared 50% Federal and 50% non-Federal thereafter.  For project construction the non-Federal Sponsor (NFS) pays 35% of the total project costs. 

Anticipated date for release of draft report: Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

An environmental assessment is being prepared jointly with execution of the feasibility study.

Release no.