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Norfolk’s million-dollar Rip-Rap project will stabilize eroding dump

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A pair of claw-bucket excavators packed granite boulders into the eroding riverbank of Lambert's Point Golf Course Tuesday, a year after Hurricane Irene exposed trash from the reclaimed landfill.

The storm eroded as much as four feet of the shoreline along the Elizabeth River, exposing garbage that could have been buried as long ago as 1920.

The area was once a private and unregulated dump. The city bought it decades later and eventually turned it into a golf course. The exposed trash-pocked riverbank could have led environmental officials to "reclassify it into an open dump," said Chris Chambers, a Norfolk design engineer. "And then we would have to come under all the new regulations for a landfill."

Instead, the city has been working to reseal the area and stop the erosion. Today contractors began lining 2,000 feet of shoreline with stones, some weighing a ton. The stones were floated to Norfolk on barges from Richmond.

City officials said the project would cost about $1.5 million.