Army Corps awards business $23M beach renourishment contract at Wallops Island, helping protect space-flight facilities

Science

A wide-angle view of an inert Minotaur V launch vehicle is erected on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s pad 0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during a pathfinder exercise for NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Mission.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $23.7 million contract to a Miami-based business for beach renourishment at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the project includes the construction of breakwaters and placing 1.3 million cubic yards of sand along a four-mile stretch of the facility’s waterfront.

The sand will be gathered from a borrow site located on the northern section of the Wallops Island Flight Facility.

“We are proud to be handling the oversight for this important project, which helps to reduce risk to one of the nation’s gateways to space,” said Julio Altuna, Norfolk District project manager.

The beach along Wallops was originally nourished in 2012, with a follow-on renourishment project in 2014 after Hurricane Sandy eroded sections of the beach.

“There are only a few companies equipped to handle a dredging job this big, but a much larger pool of contractors exist that can handle excavation and truck hauling material operations,” Altuna said.

This marks the first time the district has awarded a contract to Continental Heavy Civil Corp., which has done work for other districts-mostly in Florida and Georgia.

Work along the beach is expected to begin this spring and is expected to last around 12 months.

“This beach replenishment project is critical to protecting the more than $1.2 billion in federal, state and commercial assets on Wallops Island,” said Dave Pierce, Wallops Flight Facility director.

“Wallops is a critical economic engine for the Eastern Shore, and these assets are vital in assuring access to space for science and space exploration missions, technology development, as well as supporting commercial and government launch customers,” Pierce said.

Norfolk District of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works alongside partners to deliver water resources, military, interagency, environmental and disaster-response programs that make communities, the Commonwealth of Virginia and nation a better place to work and live.

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