The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District’s navigation team arrived at Croatan Point in early February to replace pilings and a floating dock in preparation for the next iteration of dredging.
Located at the south end of the Oceanfront, the Rudee Inlet is a hub for fishing charters, jet skiing, parasailing and serves as a thoroughfare for military watercraft to the Atlantic Ocean.
Over time, sedimentation gradually fills the channel and shallows the inlet. Dredging is performed to remove the sedimentation and increase the navigational aptitude of the waterway.
“There’s not a lot of room and the Corps dredges can’t [fit] under the bridge,” said Rick Bruton, Norfolk District boat captain.
About five times per year, Army Corps vessels perform dredging operations in Rudee Inlet but boats that dredge the federal channel are too large to fit under the Rudee Inlet Bridge, so they moor at the edge of the inlet.
“We’re replacing the dilapidated pile clusters and floating dock as part of the Rudee Inlet Federal Navigation Project in partnership with our local sponsor, the City of Virginia Beach,” said Chris Tolson, Norfolk District project manager.
The Army Corps’ hopper dredger Currituck is scheduled to arrive in March.