Reinforcing nearly 75% of the oceanfront in roughly two months, the Virginia Beach Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project has come to a halt.
In late June, the city of Virginia Beach and the Army Corps’ Norfolk District began the placement of approximately 1.4 million cubic yards of sand – a periodic construction that has prevented more than $450 million in coastal-infrastructure damage according to project management.
Due to a district-imposed time-of-year restriction during peak sea-turtle migration season, sand-borrow operations halted Sunday and may resume in mid-November, reported the Corps.
“Nest disturbances are strictly prohibited and punishable by law,” said Shannon Reinheimer, Norfolk District environmental scientist. “If a sea turtle or a nest is found within the project area, sand placement is stopped until coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines the safest path for that nest.”
USACE added that dredging and sand-placement crews may remobilize near 49th Street after the restriction period ends. Having completed the construction area’s southern half, the shoreline north of approximately 50th Street is the final push.
While the project’s contract extends to Feb. 23, it’s hopeful all construction will be concluded by year’s end, according to James Campbell, district contracting officer representative.