Virginia Beach, Va. – Beach season is just around the corner, but officials say it could take a few years before Chick’s Beach gets the facelift it needs to replenish sand washed away from coastal storms.
“Through the years, and with the hurricanes we’ve had, the erosion. And you see at the Oceanfront where they get, you know, the nice, long refreshed beach,” said Shari Beasley.
Beasley has been living at Chick’s Beach for more than 15 years. She says she and her neighbors often feel left out when projects in Sandbridge and the Oceanfront replenish sand in those locations but not in their backyards.
“I was surprised, so I’m not quite sure what the year’s length of when we’ve got it replenished, but it was good to hear that they’re going to try to work that in,” said Beasley.
There are certain areas at Chick’s Beach where there’s a lot of sand, but others, not so much. In fact, NewsChannel 3 was there at the beach when the water came right up to a home during high tide. Neighbors and business owners have been worried about the eroding beach for years, even voicing their concerns to local officials.
“They feel threatened. They feel as though their property and their homes are actually being threatened. And if a project doesn’t eventually come about to build in that buffer, that they may lose the use of their homes,” said Phill Roehrs, Water Resources Engineer for the City of Virginia Beach.
Roehrs says the city has a long-term plan to widen Chick’s Beach about 150 feet or more. In fact, between 400,000 and 500,000 cubic yards of sand will be used to build a bigger beach there. However, that work will likely not happen anytime soon because the city is not sure how it’s going to pay for the project and it’s still working with property owners to ensure public access to some parts of the beach – all before any work can be done.
“What we want to do is achieve a degree of storm protection,” said Roehrs.
Officials and neighbors hope this future project will help keep homes and businesses in the area standing while improving conditions for beachgoers to enjoy.
“I’m excited. We spend a lot of time out here at the beach…so it’d be nice to extend it and have a little more room to play on the beach,” said Beasley.