NORFOLK, VA – On Wednesday, March 30, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced an additional $150,000,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) project in the City of Norfolk. This funding is in addition to the $249,331,000 in funding announced on January 19.
The City and the US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, will use the funding for the design and construction of a multi-phase, comprehensive coastal storm risk management project for the City. When completed, this project will help reduce and manage flooding for major portions of the city through a system of surge barriers, natural and nature-based features, tidal gates, floodwalls, levees, pump stations, and non-structural measures. The project funding now totals $399,331,000 with an additional $215,000,000 required match of non-federal funds.
“The City of Norfolk is leading the way on coastal resilience and adaptation. This much needed additional funding will be used for the first phase of the project from West Ghent through Downtown and to Harbor Park, ensuring the ongoing protection of our residents and businesses,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Ph.D. “I want to once again, thank our congressional delegation for their unwavering support of this crucial project. With the completion of this large-scale project, Norfolk will be a resilient city of the future and a model for other cities around the country.”
“I'm very excited about the additional funding and what it means for Norfolk's people and communities," said COL Brian Hallberg, Norfolk District commander. "The funding not only allows us to complete the remaining segments of the project's first phase, but also allows us to continue design work for the other portions of the city."
The federal funding allocation allows for the development of complete plans and specifications for extensions of the existing downtown floodwall northwest beyond the Midtown Tunnel, including a floodgate at the Hague, and east towards the Campostella Bridge.
“I would like to express my appreciation to the Mayor, City Council, and my staff for their diligent work to secure additional federal resources that will provide Norfolk with long-term flood protection,” stated Norfolk’s City Manager, Chip Filer. “We are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what additional construction can be complete with these funds and planning a public outreach campaign to communicate to our many stakeholders about the scope and preliminary designs of the project.”
The City of Norfolk and the Norfolk District began the Norfolk CSRM Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement in 2016, with the Chief of Engineer’s Report completed in February 2019. The project was authorized by congress in the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2020.
The existing Downtown Norfolk Floodwall protects from flooding occurring in the adjacent Elizabeth River and forms the backbone for current and future protection. The existing wall was completed in 1971 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and affords the city’s downtown area a reduced flood insurance rate by accreditation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) due to the protection that it provides.