VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $2 million contract Sept. 28 to maintenance dredge the Lynnhaven Inlet Federal Navigation Channel in Virginia Beach, Va.
Lynnhaven Inlet annually undergoes maintenance dredging to combat critical shoaling; however, due to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Virginia Beach coastline last year, shoaling conditions were exacerbated and required accelerated dredging, said Kristin Mazur, Norfolk District’s project manager.
“Recent surveys identified critical shoaling in the entrance channel, turning basin and side channels of the project,” Mazur said. “This shoaling, if left alone, may adversely impact a wide variety of maritime industry, and threatens safe and efficient navigation.”
The project typically requires full-maintenance dredging cycles about every three years.
Southwind Construction Corporation, a small business based in Evansville, Ind., will dredge the channel to a required depth of up to 10 feet “mean lower low water.” The dredging contract also includes two feet of allowable over-depth dredging.
The contractor will use a pipeline to transport the dredged material for beneficial reuse in designated placement areas along Ocean Park Beach and the Maple Street Upland Placement Site in Virginia Beach.
In all, the contractor will dredge about 134,350 cubic yards of material.
Because the project was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, it is funded through a combined Post-Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations, Corps operations and maintenance funding and local sponsor funds.
The project is slated for completion in January 2014.
Lynnhaven Inlet Federal Navigation Channel, which was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of Oct. 23, 1962, is located on the Chesapeake Bay, within the city of Virginia Beach. The navigation project provides access to the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean for commercial fishing vessels, charter fishing boats, head boats and a wide range of private recreational vessels.
The channel is used by the pilot boats for both the Virginia and Maryland pilot stations based inside the inlet to transport pilots from their dock to deep-draft ships entering the Chesapeake Bay.