NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a $34.5 million beach replenishment project in Ocean View is more than halfway complete.
The Army Corps. Norfolk District released photos on Facebook Friday of crews working on the project.
Once complete, the replenishment is expected to add 1.2 million cubic yards of sand in an area between tip of Willoughby Spit, near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, to the Little Creek Inlet.
Patrick Bloodgood, with the Army Corps, says about 64 percent of the project has been completed.
“The contractor working it has been working 24/7 and we’ve heard nothing but kudos from the citizens here,” he said.
Officials say it will widen the beach by 60 feet, and build it up to five feet higher than the lowest point of the water. It is expected to be completed in May — just in time for beach and hurricane season.
“It’s very important when you’re talking about during storms, the area was very susceptible to wave attacks. [That’s] when the waters would get whipped up by the winds, they would eat away at the dunes, crash into the dunes and impact the neighborhoods behind it,” Bloodgood said.
Dredges are being used to pull up sand from the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay to be used for the project.
Bloodgood says two dredges have been in use this month and another dredge started work Friday.
The Army Corps says it’s part of a 50-year plan to replenish the beach and other projects aimed at mitigating similar problems may be in the future.
“7.1 miles of beach we’ve been working on and it’s a great partnership with the City of Norfolk that we look forward to keep going into the future with it’s residents with the needs they need for protection and projects,” Bloodgood said.