Changes are making Lynnhaven Inlet safer to navigate

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Work is underway right now to make the Lynnhaven Inlet safer to navigate.

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers are working together to make navigation changes by replacing existing pylons with buoys.

Last year the Coast Guard sought public input on the proposed navigation aids changes for Long Creek, Broad Bay, and Lynnhaven Inlet.

It is a result of significant shoaling and navigational safety concerns.

Many of the aids were no longer accessible thanks to shoaling or they've exceeded their service life.

Replacing them with buoys allows them to be positioned as needed especially when dredging occurs.

"The benefit of buoys is that they're more easily maintained or adjusted as situations such a shoaling dictate," Chief Warrant Officer Jason Brisson, Waterways Division for Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads said in a release.

"This change will provide the most value, in terms of safety, to the local maritime community," he added.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District awarded a contract in April for the Lynnhaven Inlet Federal Navigation Project.

“The ultimate goal of the project is to restore the authorized dimensions to support safe, reliable, efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation,” said Chris Tolson, district project manager and technical lead.

Approximately 170,000 cubic yards of dredged materials was expected to be placed on Cape Henry and nearby beaches.

The Army Corps said the project would benefit both commercial and recreational users, as well as assisting large vessels entering the Port of Virginia.

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