VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The sound of construction off of Shore Drive is oddly bringing residents to the beach.
“A lot of people want to see the activity and understand what’s going on,” said Danny Murphy, the president of the Ocean Park Civic League.
Murphy said with little space, the Ocean Park area became overcrowded over the last few years.
“In the spring, we had a number of Nor’easters back to back that 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 jumpstart it.
“Over the last two years since the project’s been delayed, we’ve had a lot of complaints and a lot of concern from the property owners," Murphy said.
"I think the biggest complaint we’re going to have now is how far they’re going to have to travel to get to the water.”
Crews started this project nearly two weeks ago. Since then, city leaders say they’ve worked 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 about maybe 100 to 200 feet a day," said Jim White, the coastal section senior project manager with Virginia Beach Public Works.
"This last Sunday, they had a second dredge that is now committed. They’re able to build close to 500 feet a day.
White said the project will add more sand to the dunes, raising them about six feet. It will also expand the beach by about 100 feet.
He said the city is working with the Port of Virginia to acquire beach-quality sand.
“We’re around 350,000 to 400,000 cubic yards of sand to build the beach back,” White said.
White anticipates the project will near completion by the end of June, and residents hope they can take advantage of the extra space in time for the Fourth of July.
City leaders are now working on a plan to replenish sand in Cape Henry.