Channel Dredging, Beach Replenishment Begin Soon

Cape Charles Wave

February 9, 2015

As the air and water finally begin to warm this spring, boating activity in and around the harbor will again percolate with activity. The beautiful floating docks will fill up, the tall ships will come to anchor, and those massive mega-yachts will once again crawl in from the world for a respite in our safe, quiet harbor.

The channel, harbor and beach, really the well-springs and life blood of our town, will be benefitting from some much-needed work in the very near future. With contracts awarded and in place, Cape Charles is prepared to begin a much-needed dredging project for our channel and harbor in order to maintain the authorized depth of 18 feet.

Funding for the work has come from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There are three contracts: two dredging and placement contracts and one for the Upland Placement Site.

The muddy material dredged from the harbor will be taken to the Upland Placement Site, just south of the railroad tracks that parallel Stone Road. Construction and rehabilitation of the site will begin within weeks, as the land disturbance permit from DEQ has been received by the town. Dredging and moving material can commence as early as 90 days prior to the site being ready.

The initial dredging project will take some material and move it to the upland site, but a portion of the sand will be used to replenish the beach. This method has been successfully used along the Atlantic beaches, as well as in Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach.

Residents should begin seeing dredging barges in the harbor, as well as crews at work preparing the Upland Placement Site and building pipelines to the beach.


The first phase of the project will focus on beach replenishment. A portion of the beach boardwalk will have to be removed to allow for pipeline access. The pipeline will also cross the golf cart path near the Shanty; however the Town is working with Corps to be sure citizens will still have access to the harbor area using this crossover.

The second portion of the dredging will take material removed from the harbor and channel and transport it to Craney Island as part of the expansion project underway there. The contract for this aspect of the dredging project is currently out for solicitation.

This project will bring a much needed 80,000 cubic yards of sand to our beach, as well as keeping our harbor and channel at a proper depth in order to maintain the momentum we have seen in maritime traffic and commerce. The Town and Corps are working closely to be sure that the work produces a minimum conflict with events such as Blessing of Fleet, Clam Slam, and of course, Tall Ships. The replenishment and placement of sand on the beach is scheduled to start prior to the summer tourist season.



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