With construction beginning for the expansion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, Julie and Gary Wagner’s borrow pit could be expecting up to 700,000 cubic yards of dredge spoils. The site is needed to facilitate the timely construction of the third tunnel at the CBBT.
Only two types of dredge spoils would be taken to the Eastville site and the material would consist of a “toothpaste” type of material (bentonite (clay) and sand). The material would not be transported to the site until it had been staged and tested by DEQ to ensure it was benign. The material is odorless and would be transported in new sealed trucks to prevent spillage.
The hydrogeological study of the Wagner location found that the Columbia Aquifer, which sources the Eastern Shore with water, could potentially be contaminated by dredge materials deposited at the pit site. According to the Ground Water Committee of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, there has “potentially been burning of creosote and CCA treated wood on the property.”
In August, there was a breach to the storm water pond that has since been closed. The equipment used to fill the breach is still located at the site, but is not operating at this time. Concerns are that the breach became an outlet to the Bay. The legality of the outflow pumping that occurred through the storm water pond is debatable. In the original approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers, it states that a permit would be required for the work that took place to correct the breach:
Aerial evidence also indicates that the borrow pit is being used for debris disposal; this is an unauthorized use of a pit authorized only for sand mining.
Below are aerial images of the Wagner borrow pit: