Rommel Tamayo, Water Resources Project Manager for Virginia Beach Public Works, says the emergency dredging work started Monday and is nearly finished.
"We had some shallow shoals at Rudee Inlet, so for navigational purposes we had to have those shoals removed," he said.
While dredging work has been done at Rudee Inlet in the past by city crews and the Army Corps of Engineers, this work in the outer portion of the channel prompted Virginia Beach to award a $2.86 million contact to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock of Oak Brook, Illinois.
The dredge "Alaska" doing the work is the same dredge that completed emergency operations on the Bonner Bridge to Hatteras Island in North Carolina earlier this month.
That work allowed the bridge to re-open on Sunday and for the dredge to move up to Virginia Beach.
"The stars and planets were aligned – everything worked out nice," Tamayo explained.
The sand from the dredging is being placed onto the beach between 4th street and 10th street.
That's in the same area where the Holiday Lights display is currently going on and crews have been mindful to make sure both go off without a hitch.
"The contractors were great and there haven’t been any problems with the holidays lights," Tamayo stated. "These guys did a phenomenal job putting the light sources away from the boardwalk."
Crews estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged during the operation.