Sand replenishment project underway at Ocean Park in Virginia Beach

City leaders expect the project to be completed by the end of June.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Construction noise off Shore Drive eerily brings residents to the beach.

“A lot of people want to see the activity and understand what’s going on,” said Danny Murphy, president of the Ocean Park Civic League.

Murphy said with little space, the Ocean Park area has become overcrowded in recent years.

“In the spring we had a number of back-to-back Nor’easters which really limited the use of the beach,” he said.

Now, nearby residents are excited to see the sand replenishment project underway after waiting nearly two years for city leaders to kick it off.

“Over the past two years since the project was delayed, we’ve had a lot of complaints and a lot of concerns from the owners,” Murphy said.

“I think the biggest complaint we’re going to have now is how far they’re going to have to walk to get to the water.”

Crews began this project almost two weeks ago. Since then, city leaders say they’ve been working around the clock to renew a section of the beach — and they’re working fast.

“Just to get things up and running, they were starting at maybe about 100 to 200 feet a day,” said Jim White, senior project manager for the coastal section at Virginia Beach Public Works.

“Last Sunday they had a second dredge which is now engaged. They are capable of building close to 500 feet per day.

White said the project will add more sand to the dunes, raising them about six feet. It will also widen the range by approximately 100 feet.

He said the city is working with the Port of Virginia to acquire beach-grade sand.

“We have about 350,000 to 400,000 cubic meters of sand to rebuild the beach,” White said.

White expects the project to be near completion by the end of June, and residents hope to be able to take advantage of the additional space in time for July 4.

City leaders are currently working on a plan to replenish the sand in Cape Henry.

Harold B. McConnell