VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --
Reinforcing nearly 75% of the city of Virginia Beach oceanfront in roughly two months, the Virginia Beach Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project has come to a halt.
Late June, the city of Virginia Beach and Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project began the placement of approximately 1.4 million cubic yards of sand – a sacrificial and periodic construction that historically prevented more than $450 million in costal infrastructure damage.
An engineering accomplishment, the Norfolk District operation was established to create a better place to work and live for the local beach community – including marine life.
Due to the district-imposed time of year restriction during peak sea turtle migration season, sand-borrow operations halted Sept. 1 and may resume mid-November. And while dredging operations have the potential to adversely affect protected marine species, beach renourishment may also provide the reverse.
Dredging and sand–placement crews may remobilize near 49th Street after the end of the restriction period. Having completed the southern half of the construction area, the shoreline north of approximately 50th street is the final push to completion.
Heavy machinery, slurry pumping, shoreline pipe. Residents and tourists in the North End can expect the same backdrop seen by those in the completed areas.
While the contract for the project extends to Feb. 23, 2020, ideally all construction will be concluded by year’s end.
Problematic weather conditions, equipment malfunction and dredge availability are all items that can lead the project to complete closer to the contract end date.
The project, slated to widen the beach from 15th to 70th streets, has been moving north and cordoning off approximately two-block increments at a time. With only small portions of the beach inaccessible, the project may have degrees of impact up to 20 streets due to the shoreline pipe required for sand placement.