NORFOLK, VA – The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a New Jersey-based company a $10.5 million contract to replace sand along NASA’s Wallops Island launch facilities near Chincoteague, Va.
Weeks Marine, Inc., from Cranford, N.J. will dredge sand to restore dunes and berms damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The restoration involves adding 650,000 cubic yards of sand along the shoreline of the facility.
The original dredging, completed in August 2012, held back the Atlantic Ocean during the historic storm The storm claimed a portion of the sacrificial beach while keeping the infrastructure safe as it was designed to do.
"Shoreline protection is absolutely vital to protecting the more than $1 billion in critical assets for our nation's space program and national security." Bill Wrobel, Wallops Flight Facility director.
The dredging is expected to take place late winter to early spring and be complete by September.
“NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Norfolk District are eager to get as much of the restoration accomplished before we get into the heart of the 2014 hurricane season, which typically starts in early September along the mid-Atlantic coast,” said George Mears, Norfolk District project manager.
Funding the project is a part of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act 2013.
NASA Wallops Flight facility is the only NASA-owned launch facility and is the principal facility for management and implementation of suborbital research programs.
According to a Salisbury University, Md., study, the facility positively impacts the region; supporting more than 2,000 jobs with nearly $200 million in economic value per year.