Dredge work to help flooding, water quality problems in Virginia Beach neighborhood

Posted at 7:40 PM, Apr 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-26 19:40:26-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Dredge work in the Green Run Community of Virginia Beach is expected to fix flooding and water quality problems residents have seen there for years.

Crews began dredging one of six lakes in the neighborhood on April 1. Over the years, the bottom of that lake has built up with dirt, debris, and even trash. About 28,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed and transported to the City of Virginia Beach owned and operated Dredge Material Management Area off of Oceana Blvd for disposal.

Public Works will also clean and inspect about 20 miles of storm drain pipes that haven't allowed stormwater to flow as freely from homes in Green Run to the Lynnhaven River.

"We have people that, if it rains a hard rain, by the time they get home, they can't go to their homes because it's completely flooded at the end of the cul-de-sac," said Heidi Daniels, community manager of the Green Run Homes Association. Daniels has been living in the community over the past 12 years. For most of those years, she and her neighbors have been trying to get the city to improve stormwater runoff in the neighboring streets and bring a more than 40-year-old storm sewer system up to date. Now, they're finally seeing that work get done.

"The removal of all those obstructions from your storm water pipe is going to provide the most relief to residents experiencing flooding," said Jessica Winterwerp, project manager for the Lake Dredging Project.

Virginia Beach City Councilmember Glenn Davis says this work will not only solve the flooding problems, but it will also help improve water quality.

"It's a safety issue. It's a health issue. And probably most important to the systems of Virginia Beach, it's a water quality issue. This water eventually ends up in the Lynnhaven. And as we try to clean up the Lynnhaven for our shellfish and our boaters and that sort of thing, we have to make sure we take care of the inlet opportunities as well, and that's what we're doing here," said Councilmember Davis.

The total project will cost $1.6 million, fully funded from the city's Stormwater Utility Fee. It could take several years before the entire project is complete.