It’s time to launch Norfolk’s Coastal Storm Risk Management Project but doing so needs $60 million for the Army Corps of Engineers, Virgina’s senators and two House members say.
They asked the Corps and the Office of Management and Budget to set aside at least that much from this year’s infrastructure bill to cover the federal share of the first element of the project: the downtown to Harbor Park floodwall.
“The rate of sea level rise within the city and surrounding area is one of the highest along the East Coast, exacerbating the city’s vulnerability to flood events,” Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with Reps. Robert C. Scott, D-Newport News, and Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, wrote in a letter to the OMB and Corps.
“Rising sea levels and extreme weather events will always be a concern for Norfolk. Each additional year it takes to construct this CSRM project provides another opportunity for the next extreme weather event to wreak havoc on our constituents in Norfolk,” they added.
The Coastal Storm Risk Management Project calls for an extensive series of surge barriers, tidal gates, floodwalls, levees, pump stations, and non-structural measures across the city, to reduce and manage flooding.
In the Ghent, Hague and downtown sector, the plan is for a 600-foot storm surge barrier with a pump and power station, tied in to a 27,236-foot floodwall and 2,582-foot earthen levee. Four pump stations and tide gates, 7,200 feet of living shoreline and 5,250 feet of oyster reef are also planned for this sector.
Around Pretty Lake, the project would entail a storm surge barrier, 5,642 feet of floodwall and 2,375 feet of living shoreline.
A 6,634-foot storm surge barrier, power station, three tide gates and 1,535 feet of earthen levee is set for Lafayette River. The Broad Creek sector would get a 1,291 foot long storm surge barrier, 8,787 feet of floodwall, a pump station and four tide gates.
All in all the project would cost $1.6 billion, $1.04 billion of which would come from Washington.
Dave Ress, 757-247-4535,