March 21, 2024

The Ripple Effect: Linkhorn Bay Drainage Basin Projects Planned to Start this Year

Two drainage improvement projects will occur in the Seatack Neighborhood and at First Colonial Road and Ocean Boulevard.

The Ripple Effect Linkhorn Bay Drainage Basin Projects

Two projects under the Flood Protection Program will greatly enhance resilience for community residents along with civilian and military commuters to Naval Air Station Oceana (NAS Oceana). These projects in the Linkhorn Bay Drainage Basin include Seatack neighborhood drainage improvements and similar work at First Colonial Road and Oceana Boulevard.

The Seatack neighborhood, steeped in history, often faces the risk of flooding during extreme weather scenarios. Drainage improvements planned here have a primary objective of fortifying the area against flooding during a 100-year storm with a foot and a half of sea-level rise. Improvements entail an extensive overhaul of storm drain lines along key arteries like Birdneck Road and Sea Street.

To address water quality concerns, a state-of-the-art manufactured treatment device will be installed at the end of Jackson Street, benefiting residents and the delicate Chesapeake Bay ecosystem where run-off is drained. In addition, the collaboration between the departments of Public Works and Public Utilities ensures a comprehensive approach to minimize future construction-related disruptions to the area. With an estimated cost of $5.6 million, this project represents a significant investment in the community's resilience.

Meanwhile, the First Colonial Road and Oceana Boulevard project aims to mitigate flooding along critical transportation corridors, ensuring accessibility during severe weather, particularly for NAS Oceana. In better preparing Oceana Boulevard to withstand a 100-year storm with a 3-foot sea-level rise, this particular project enhances military readiness by providing safe, reliable access to the installation.

Key to this initiative is the development of a constructed wetland on City-owned property that is strategically positioned to intercept stormwater runoff and alleviate roadway flooding. Executed in close coordination with NAS Oceana, the project costs approximately $4.5 million.

Regarding timing, both projects start in 2024, with construction beginning in the Seatack neighborhood in early 2024 and in First Colonial Road and Oceana Boulevard in late 2024. Construction for each will be complete by the end of 2025.

The Virginia Beach Flood Protection Program—The Ripple Effect—is a comprehensive 10-year plan to address recurrent flooding in Virginia Beach. In November 2021, Virginia Beach voters overwhelmingly supported a resiliency package for several key flood protection initiatives to include drainage improvements, tide gates, pump stations and flood barriers throughout the city. The projects are led by Public Works with support from a community oversight board for transparency and accountability. Learn more at

Contact Information

Public Works Stormwater Engineering Center

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