Although not even officially summer, the city of Virginia Beach and the Army Corps’ Norfolk District are already preparing for winter.
The district has awarded the Sandbridge Hurricane Protection and Beach Renourishment project contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company.
According to the Corps, the investment for this renourishment cycle is $20.3 million, including design, construction and administrative costs. The project is expected to begin around mid-November with completion based on contractor equipment availability.
The project involves an area approximately 5 miles long and 725 feet wide. It extends from the Dam Neck Fleet Training Center to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
“While the plan was to complete this construction prior to Memorial Day, dredging resources and environmental permits delayed the construction start,” said Kristin Mazur, Norfolk District project manager.
Due to the government shutdown last year, the district was unable to execute an agreement with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to borrow sand for Sandbridge from federal waters.
Mazur added that the city and district then shifted focus to the Virginia Beach oceanfront, since it doesn’t require an agreement with BOEM — the sand-borrow site only requires state approval.
Sandbridge has saved nearly $140 million in preventable damage from these protection measures over the lifespan of this project, according to calculations based on historical storm damage to existing infrastructure, as well as analysis of certain storms with associated wave impacts.