January 31, 2024

The Ripple Effect: One Year Later

A look back at the progress and momentum of the City’s Flood Protection Program projects over the last 12 months.

The Ripple Effect Cape Henry Canal Gravity Sanitary Sewer Relocation project

Pictured: One of three Ripple Effect projects completed in 2023, the City augmented a very old clay sanitary sewer located under the Cape Henry Canal with a new system made of upgraded material under Cape Henry Drive. This lays the groundwork to now widen and deepen the Cape Henry Canal, vastly increasing stormwater storage capacity.

Marking a significant stride towards a flood-resilient future, The Ripple Effect, the City’s Flood Protection Program, has made remarkable progress over the last 12 months. The combined efforts of City staff, residents, engineers, and contractors is much to celebrate, and shows an unwavering commitment, resulting in outstanding advancements for our flood protection projects.

Our residents have every reason to take immense pride in this collective endeavor. It's not just about building infrastructures; it's about building a resilient Virginia Beach with enhanced capabilities to better withstand future flood events.

Progress and Momentum

Here is what our progress looks like.

Projects with Completed Construction: Three Flood Protection Program projects completed construction this year.

  • Cape Henry Canal Gravity Sewer Relocation
  • Lake Pleasure House Outfall
  • Lake Bradford Dredging

Projects that Finished Design and Started Construction: Three additional projects crossed the final design milestone and initiated construction as a testament to our momentum.

  • South Plaza Trail/Presidential Boulevard Drainage Improvements
  • Bow Creek Stormwater Park (Section 1)
  • Old Forge Road and Red Lion Road Drainage Improvements

Project in Construction Procurement: One project finished design and is in the construction bid process.

  • Seatack Drainage Improvements

Projects Started Design: Progress continued to build, with three projects entering the design phase.

  • Bow Creek Stormwater Park (Section 2)
  • North Shore Drive and Cape Henry Drive Drainage Improvements (Phases 1F and 1G)
  • Poinciana Pump Station

Project in Design Procurement: One project is in the design engineer procurement phase.

  • Church Point/Thoroughgood Stormwater Best Management Practice and Conveyance

Project Started Preliminary Engineering: Preliminary engineering began for two projects.

  • Central Resort District Drainage Improvements
  • West Neck Creek Bridge

Funding Our Progress: State and Federal Grants

Securing necessary funding is crucial for the continuity and success of resilience projects. Aggressively pursuing state and federal grants has been a strategic focus for Virginia Beach. Our proactive efforts are delivering significant wins and ongoing submittals. Here is the list of appropriated grants and pending grant submittals worthy of note:

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant

  • Eastern Shore Bundle (appropriated) $25.1M
  • Lake Bradford/Chubb Lake Pump Station and Outfall (in submittal process) $35M

Community Flood Preparedness Fund Grant

  • Elizabeth River Floodplain Restoration (appropriated) $3M
  • Seatack Neighborhood Drainage Improvements (appropriated) $1.9M
  • First Colonial Road & Oceana Boulevard Drainage Improvements (appropriated) $2M
  • Marsh Restoration in Back Bay (pending) $5M

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant

  • Marsh Restoration in Back Bay (appropriated) $9.9M

Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation Grant

  • Pungo Ferry Road Improvements (pending) $20M

These funds will be instrumental in powering the achievements we’ve celebrated so far and will continue to fuel our ongoing and future projects. These funding accomplishments and our progress overall represent significant strides in our journey toward a more resilient Virginia Beach.

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 virginiabeach.gov/RippleEffect.

Contact Information

Public Works Stormwater Engineering Center

Keep Reading

See All Posts