NORFOLK, VA – Crews are finishing up work along the Willoughby and Vicinity Storm Damage Reduction Project. The result of the project leaves Norfolk with a beach that is higher and 60 feet wider improving coastal storm protection and providing more recreational area.
Over a 12 week period contractors have worked around-the-clock dredging up sand and pumping it onto a seven mile stretch of waterfront in the City of Norfolk neighborhoods of East Ocean View, Ocean View and Willoughby Spit.
The final grains of sand are being placed along the shoreline at Willoughby Spit near 14th View St. tonight.
Once complete, the Great Lakes Dredging and Dock Company dredge will move onto another project elsewhere in the United States and their crews will begin to remove gear from the beach.
According Robert Pretlow, Norfolk District project manager overseeing the beach building project, the construction has gone on without a major hitch.
“The project is wrapping up on-time and on budget, and now this area of Norfolk is more resilient against damage from wave energy during coastal storms.” – Pretlow said.
"As a resilient city, we're always looking at our coast and how mother nature and water impacts us," said Tommy Smigiel, Norfolk City Councilman Ward 5. "We know that for the protection of the homes and investment in Ocean View that beach nourishment is an important project but it is also about celebrating the fact that we have seven miles of beach and that people are enjoying it. This project covers both of these important city priorities."
The $34.5 million project is the largest single storm damage reduction project in the City of Norfolk and included placing 1.2 million cubic yards of sand along the shoreline, as well as widened the beach to 60 feet creating a slope to 5 feet above mean low water.
The beach is expected to have to be nourished about every 7-9 years as part of the project lifespan, and The City of Norfolk will continue to monitor the area in the years to come to determine if the schedule for nourishment needs be adjusted due to sand loss from storm impacts.