Multi-million dollar project helps protect Va. Beach Oceanfront

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WVEC.com

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 1 at 5:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The beach at Va. Beach Oceanfront fared pretty well during Hurricane Irene, thanks in part its multi-million dollar Hurricane Protection Project.

Besides dumping sand on the beach, the project uses a pumping station to draw in storm water and funnel it back out to sea.  It was built in 2002.

The project cost $140 million and was paid for by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Va. Beach.

On Thursday, the Corps showed off the 16th Street Pump Station and explained how it work with the seawall/dune system to protect the resort city's famous beaches.

Public works officials say there are multiple benefits to the pumping station.

"There's another great benefit to doing that.  When we pump the water and it pumps 2,000 feet off shore to the discharge box, we get the storm water away from the public so we eliminate that human contact with direct storm water," said Phil Roehrs with Virginia Beach public works department.

Va. Beach doesn't have any figures yet for damage to public facilities from Irene. However, estimates are coming in for private property.

"So far, the estimate is $2.6 million for damage to private property, which includes $1 million for 15th Street pier," spokeswoman Mary Hancock told WVEC.com.

 

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