Permanent Dredge Spoils update/issue for Crab Creek

Wendy and Sid Vaughan, active members of our Civic League, have asked that this information, and the attached letter, be passed along for both informational and potential action purposes.

Dear Neighbors, Sid and I attended Thursday’s Bayfront Advisory Committee meeting. The Assistant City Manager and City Staff  were there to present plans for the Lesner Bridge replacement AND Building a Permanent Industrial Site at Crab Creek.
There are several distinct issues that you should know about:
1.  The Lesner Bridge replacement is vital – the City plans to use the Crab Creek “spoils” site for construction staging for the bridge over the two or so years it will take for the project. I feel that we as homeowners should accept that. The Bridge’s condition is currently rated lower than the one in the Midwest that fell a few years ago. During the construction there will be up to 100 truck trips daily through the boat ramp and out to Shore Drive via Piedmont Circle and E. Stratford Rd. There will be a “temporary” barge docking station built for barging materials to the site.There will be noise and other usual construction site impact.  Beach access via the boat ramp facility will be curtailed during the construction. Boat launching will remain open. While this is unpleasant, it seems to be a necessary , but temporary, inconvenience.
2.Currently, CLEAN sand from dredging of the Crab Creek Channel occurs once every year or two, or when weather causes sand movement that requires it to keep the channel open for boaters. Again, I feel that since we, especially homeowners with boats on the creek, benefit from this, it is a necessary nuisance.  The city stockpiles this sand on the site for future use for sand replenishment along the bay or elsewhere in the city.We certainly also benefit when sand is replenished on our nearby beach.
3. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON: The City has renewed its interest (that we fought in 2008) in putting a permanent dredge transfer site with Barge off-loading station at Crab Creek to receive and truck out the MUCK dredged from neighborhoods such as Witchduck Point, Thoroughgood Manor, Church Point, and Saw Pen Point, who want their channels dug for their boating pleasure, but do not want the inconvenience of the dredge transfer station in their own backyard.
If this is built, we will experience:  barges offloading 40-50 truckloads of dredge spoils a day, and those 40-50 trucks, averaging THIRTY-FIVE TONS traveling across the cross-walk between the boat ramp bath house and the boardwalk to the beach, and out to Shore Drive via Piedmont Circle and E. Stratford Road. Barges may impede boat traffic in the boat channel. The dredged muck in this process is thick and foul-smelling, not the clean sand that is dredged from the Crab Creek channel.  Beaches and Waterways Commission has recommended limiting to 30 trucks per day for no more than two 90-day cycles per year. It is unclear what the time-of-day restrictions may be for dredge transfer work. The City said, regarding the Lesner Bridge construction, that time-of-day work would depend on the contractor proposal… If the engine noise and beeping you heard during the Crab Creek sand dredging was troublesome to you, imagine adding the 30 or 50 large trucks per day  I personally found the noise alone to detract from my enjoyment of my porch. I wonder if those along the creek will be able to use their back decks.
4. THIS ALSO DESERVES OUR ATTENTION: The City Staff of VIrginia Beach now say they will use the future Permanent Dredge Transfer Station for other uses: possible staging for other construction, docking of working barges that currently moor in the Lynnhaven River for oyster reef work, dredges,etc.
The City, at Thursday’s meeting expressed assurances that they are sensitive to boaters and fishermen. They expressed no concern for homeowners.
I hope you all will join us in opposing a Permanent Dredge Transfer Station at Crab Creek.   Please email City Council and the Beaches and Waterways Commission and the Bayfront Advisory Committee members with your opposition to the proposed Dredge Transfer Station at Crab Creek. Use my letter (below) if you like.

Mr. Mayor and Honorable Council Members, Members of Beaches and Waterways

Commission, Members of the Bayfront Advisory Committee:

As homeowners in Ocean Park Virginia Beach, adjacent to Crab Creek, we want to

express our strong opposition to using Crab Creek for a Permanent Dredge Spoils

Transfer Site for the following reasons:

* Operating barges in close proximity to the recreational boating channel at Crab

Creek poses dangers to boaters, kayakers, and paddle-boarders. The channel is narrow.

The City Boat Ramp at Crab Creek encourages the use of the channel for these

recreational activities. This is a conflict.

* Use of dump trucks through the boat ramp parking lot, over the pedestrian

crosswalk from the bath houses to the beach, and through the residential neighborhood

poses dangers to adults and children, bicyclists, fishermen, and motorists.

* Use of barges in the Lynnhaven Basin creates a danger to the Lesner bridge. Over a

year ago a barge did hit the Lesner Bridge.

* Quality of water at the beaches surrounding the Crab Creek sand berm is

jeopardized by unloading of spoils. Quality of the sand the City currently reclaims from

the channel for use elsewhere is also jeopardized.

* Noise pollution from engines, trucks, and beeping disrupts the quiet in the

neighborhood. We currently experience this up to three months a year from the Crab

Creek channel dredging. And the noise pollution is late at night and early in the morning.

It is not equitable for us to be subject to it for many more months because those who will

benefit from the dredging in their neighborhoods do not want the spoils transfer to take

place in their neighborhoods.

* Quality of air is jeopardized by diesel equipment and odors from dredge spoils.

* Potential loss of equity in our home is unfair in order to benefit other


Our position has not changed since we voiced our opposition in 2008 along with the

Ocean Park Civic League and many other Ocean Park homeowners.

We ask that you complete the Thalia transfer station before determining the need for

additional stations, and that studies be done by an independent third party to evaluate the

concerns listed above.

We also ask that you review the Ocean Park Civic League objections and citizen response

to the 2008 proposal for a spoils transfer station at the Crab Creek site.

The Lynnhaven Boat Ramp at Crab Creek is a clean, safe, quality recreational facility – a

Virginia Beach success. Please consider the risk of damaging the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp.

And please consider the risk of damage to the quality of life in our neighborhood.


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