Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project

This information below refers to the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. For the current information about the Norfolk CSRM Project, please click the image below or visit

Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published March 21, 2018


Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management
Photo By: Civil Works
VIRIN: 180723-A-BJ794-003
As a result of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Congress passed P.L. 113-2, a portion of which directed actions for USACE to take, including preparation of two interim reports to Congress, a project-performance evaluation report and comprehensive study to address the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy within the boundaries of North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

USACE completed the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, which identified nine high-risk areas on the Atlantic Coast for an in-depth analysis based on preliminary findings.

The city of Norfolk has been identified as one of these nine focus areas that warrants an in-depth investigation into potential coastal storm risk-management solutions. 

The Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Study is a comprehensive investigation of flood-risk management problems and solutions in the city. The study considered past, current, and future flood-risk management and resilience-planning initiatives and projects underway at USACE and other federal, state and local agencies. Three overarching efforts were performed:

  • Assess the study area’s problems, opportunities and future without project conditions
  • Assess the feasibility of implementing system-wide flood-risk management solutions  
    Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management
    Photo By: Civil Works
    VIRIN: 180723-A-BJ794-002
  • If system-wide solutions are not feasible, assess the feasibility of implementing site-specific solutions, such as structural, nonstructural, natural and nature-based features, possibly in combination.

Norfolk District performed the functional activities of a feasibility-level study in accordance with USACE SMART Planning and Civil Works Modernization guidance and milestones. The study included planning, engineering, economics, environmental resources and National Environmental Policy Act compliance. It recommends a $1.4 billion project, including storm-surge barriers, nearly 8 miles of floodwall, a 1-mile levee, 11 tide gates, and seven pump and power stations. Economists forecast the project's estimated annual net benefits at $122 million. That's based on a reduction in damage from coastal storms to businesses, residents and infrastructure; fewer health and safety risks, and the local economy's improved resilience to impacts.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, chief of engineers and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general, signed the Chief's Report in February 2019, recommending the study's findings for congressional authorization. The signing marked the feasibility stage's end. The Preconstruction Engineering and Design phase was initiated with execution of the design agreement in June 2019.

This study was authorized by resolution of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works dated July 25, 2012.

Study sponsor
City of Norfolk

Project study area
City of Norfolk

Study cost
$3 million