James River Newport News Shoreline CAP 14

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published March 31, 2020
Updated: Feb. 16, 2023
James River Newport News CAP Study area

James River Newport News CAP Study area.

Project Study Area: The City of Newport News is located on the Lower Peninsula in eastern Virginia, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay, approximately 65 miles southeast of Richmond. The study area is located entirely within the City along the north bank of the James River, west of the James River Bridge (US-17/US-258). It is bound on the south by the Government Ditch, to the north by North Avenue, and extends eastward to River Road.

Authorization:  Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), Section 14 of the Flood Control Act of 1946, as amended (P.L.79-526), Emergency Streambank and Shore Protection. The purpose of the Section 14 program is to construct emergency streambank and shore protection to prevent natural erosion processes from damaging highways, bridge approaches, public works, churches, public and private non-profit hospitals, schools, water and sewer lines, and other public or non-profit facilities that offer public services to all, and known historic properties eligible or listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Project Scope:

An approximate 600-foot section of the riverbank along the James River is severely eroded by the combined effects of natural erosion processes; river flow, relative sea level rise, and tidal, storm, and wind driven wave action. The resulting 25-foot high receding sandy bluff results in a continuing loss of land and is an imminent threat to existing public facilities and utilities, including River Road, electric, gas, communications, public water and sewer lines, as well as creating dangerous conditions associated with the steep eroding slope.

CAP Section 14 feasibility studies must evaluate whether it would be more cost effective to relocate the public facilities so that they would no longer be at risk from the streambank erosion or stabilize the shoreline to reduce the risk to the facilities where they are currently located. The report identifies the alternatives that were considered to address this problem and recommends bank stabilization by rock sill with vegetated slope as the plan that would best meet the study objectives and protect the public facilities at risk. During the feasibility phase, there were four action alternatives considered, including rock sill with vegetative slope, full rock revetment, partial rock revetment with vegetative slope, and living shoreline with vegetative slope.

Alternative 1 (the Recommended Plan) is the least cost option at an estimated July 2021 project first cost of $3,481,000 and would stabilize the streambank with a rock sill and vegetated slope. This plan includes a longitudinal rock sill running the length of the project area, earthen slope berm graded on a 1 Vertical to 3 Horizontal (1V:3H), 2900 tons of VDOT class III riprap, 800 tons of VDOT number 1 stone, 4300 cubic yards of fill, 1600 square yards of geotextile filter fabric, 35,000 square feet of seeding, and 700 cubic yards of debris removal. At the estimated project first cost of $3,481,000, the estimated federal cost- share (65%) is $2,262,650 and the estimated non-federal cost-share (35%) is $1,218,350. The report provides the basis for preparing plans and specifications for the subsequent construction of the Recommended Plan.



Key Action

09 SEP 2021 (A)

CAP Feasibility DPR Final Report Approval

30 JUN 2022 (S)

Submit PPA Package To NAD

30 JUL 2022 (S)

PPA Approval

31 AUG 2022 (S)

District Executes PPA

30 SEP 2022 (S)

Construction Funding Received

31 OCT 2022 (S)

Start Plans & Specifications

28 FEB 2023 (S)

60% Plans & Specifications

30 MAY 2023 (S)

90% Plans & Specifications

30 JUNE 2023 (S) Plans & Specifications Approval
28 JUL 2023 (S) HQ commits construction funding

02 OCT 2023 (S)

Ready to Advertise (RTA)

01 MAR 2024 (S)

Contract Award

01 APR 2024 (S) Notice to Proceed
28 AUG 2024 (S) Project Physically Complete
30 SEPT 2024 (S) Project Fiscally Compete






















Study Partner: City of Newport News

Contact: If you have comments or questions, contact Richard Harr of USACE Norfolk District at richard.m.harr@usace.army.mil or 757-201-7746. They can also be sent via regular mail to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District, ATTN: Richard Harr, 803 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510.