Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection and Storm Damage Reduction Project

Published May 31, 2019

Completed in 2001, the Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection System is comprised of three parts: A widened 100 foot beach at 9-feet above sea level with a gradual slope to sea level, seawall/sand dune system, and an intricate network of storm drains and pump stations to remove water from upland areas. 

Throughout its history the project has prevented more than $450 million in damage costs during coastal storm events. The beach section of the project is expected to erode away as it takes the initial impacts of wave action and storm surge, which means periodically sand needs to be placed back on the beach to keep its level of protection adequate.

Project Scope
The project is scheduled to begin sand renourishment operations around June 20, at 15th street and move northward at about a block a day. Operations are scheduled to end by August 31. Crews will be placing approximately 1.4 million cubic yards of sand on the beach, widening it and raising it to 9 feet above sea-level, back to it's original width and height. 

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- An aerial view shows the beach renourishment area near 25th and 26th streets at the Oceanfront Jan. 10, 2013. The beach was 50- to 280-feet wide and dredged sand increased the beach to as much as 300 feet, with a minimum elevation of 8.5 feet. The work was part of the Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection and Beach Renourishment Project, which replenished 1,440,250 cubic yards of sand between 15th and 70th streets.
SLIDESHOW | 5 images | Virginia Beach Renourishment
During the last renourishment event in 2012, contractors added 1.25 million cubic yards of sand from 15th to 70th Streets. The replenishment builds on the Virginia Beach erosion control and hurricane protection project completed by the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2002.

Contractors extended the beach, which was 150 to 280 feet wide, to as much as 300 feet.  Additionally, the contractors renourished the beach berm, providing a minimum elevation of 8.5 feet and a minimum crest width of 100 feet.

City officials said the original 2002 project has more than recouped its original costs over the years through damage-prevention from tropical storms surges and nor’easters that have hit the Commonwealth’s coastline at least a dozen times.


This is a 65% federally authorized and funded project, including design, construction and administration costs.

VIDEO | 01:05 | Norfolk District, City of Virginia Beach ready to feed the beach