Drainage Improvements Choreography

Matthew Richardson, PE, Project Manager, City of Virginia Beach

Rachel Friend, PE, CSM, Manager, Water Resources, RK&K

Taylor Adams, PE, Associate Engineer, RK&K

This is an update on the City of Virginia Beach Lake Bradford/Chubb Lake drainage improvement program, a follow up from last year’s “Weir Here to Fix your Flooding!” presentation. This is a multi-phase program to mitigate widespread flooding caused by moderate to heavy rainfall and tidal events. The Little Creek Basin, located in the City of Virginia Beach consists of residential and commercial areas as well as Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek (JEB LC). The program area includes many stakeholders and critical infrastructure. The program area consists of conveyance systems interconnecting five waterbodies. These interconnected systems discharge to Lake Bradford/Chubb Lake before entering a channel through JEB LC to Little Creek Cove. Located along this channel and on Navy property is a “weir gate” currently used to manage the water level and prepare for coastal storm events. Structural, property, and roadway flooding has been reported within the program area. Critical roadways which experience flooding include Northampton Boulevard, Pleasure House Road, and Shore Drive. These roadways provide access to several neighborhoods, JEB LC, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and provide an east-west vehicle connection between the northern areas of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Due to the interconnected water bodies, a sequenced approach was used to ensure the recommended improvements will not cause additional flooding downstream. A strategy was developed to engage, inform, and obtain feedback from stakeholders within the program area. Extensive engineering analysis was conducted to evaluate potential solutions using a comprehensive model. The engineering analysis identified several recommended improvements utilizing the latest rainfall values and tidal elevations in accordance with the requirements of the 2020 Public Works Design Standards Manual. Recommended improvements were identified for each of the five regions in the program area. The recommended improvements include a combination of stormwater pump stations, tide gates, culverts, stormwater ponds, channels, and additional storm drains throughout the area. A detailed construction sequence was developed to ensure the complementary improvements are designed and implemented such that expected benefits in one region do not adversely impact adjacent regions. This presentation will discuss the project background, coordination with stakeholders, recommended improvements and implementation strategy for the program.


Author Bio

Matthew Richardson is a professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and a Project Manager for the City of Virginia Beach, Department of Public Works, for stormwater improvement projects.

Rachel Friend is a professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as a Certified Stormwater Manager. She is a project manager at RK&K and specializes in managing stormwater master plans in hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H), BMP design, permit compliance, and drainage analysis and design.

Taylor Adams is a professional engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional. She predominantly specializes in hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H), BMP design, and drainage analysis and design.