City of Norfolk Downtown Floodwall, Section 408 Review

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Nov. 23, 2020
Expiration date: 12/7/2020

Interested parties are hereby notified that a request for permission to alter a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project pursuant to Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. Section 408) has been received and will be evaluated by the Norfolk District. 

Written comments, including any objections to the proposed alteration, stating reasons therefor, are being solicited from anyone having an interest in the requested alteration. The authority to grant permission for temporary or permanent use, occupation or alteration of any USACE civil works project is contained in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as amended, codified at 33 USC 408 (“Section 408”). Section 408 authorizes the Secretary of the Army to grant permission for the alteration or occupation or use of a USACE project if the Secretary determines that the activity will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project.

A request for review pursuant to Section 408 has been received from the City of Norfolk, for modifications to the existing Downtown floodwall, a federally authorized and non-federally operated flood risk management system. The project provides flood risk management for the central business district of the City of Norfolk, located on the Elizabeth River, a tidal estuary of Hampton Roads.  Currently, it includes a concrete wall 2,750 feet long at an average height of seven feet above existing ground with five closure structures, and a pumping plant with three pumps of 33,000 gallons per minute capacity each at 8-foot head. The wall was designed to provide flood risk management for a storm with a still water elevation of 10 feet above mean sea level with allowance for wave action. The city of Norfolk requests to modify the existing floodwall to add an additional two to four feet in height in order to maintain FEMA accreditation. These modifications will include making the existing wall higher and extending the outer reaches with floodwall extensions.  
The footprint of this section of floodwall also largely aligns with a larger plan for the entire city, which was evaluated as part of the Final Integrated City of Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Study/Environmental Impact Statement. There will be no in-water or wetland impacts; therefore, the project did not require a Joint Permit Application.

Written comments or to obtain copies of the drawings may be submitted via mail to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District 
803 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510-1096
ATTN: Kathy Perdue

Or email to: 
If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Perdue by telephone at 757-201-7218 or via email at 

Comments are due by Dec. 7, 2020.