Fenwick Island knee deep in beach replenishment

From sand to sea, Fenwick Island has quite the scene along it's coastline. Although, it's not the scene you would expect during the summer. Trade in those beach umbrellas and chairs for pipes and lots of machinery.

"The whole reason the project is being done is to build these dunes back up to where they were on the original template," explains Project Engineer Randall Grunden, of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers 

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are in their final stages of a three-month project replenishing Delaware's beaches.

Fenwick Island is last on the agenda. One that has seen many delays which have left the Army Corp no other choice than taking up some space in the sand, 1,000 feet to be exact. 

It's an eye sore for some, but a few beachgoers have come to terms with it. 

"It has to be done, you know, we will make due. We will go to the other end until they come back this way, so it is what it is," says one visitor. 

Another explains, "It's been really cool to watch, however now it's on our street now and we have to high tail it north or south just trying to get a spot on the beach and it's a lot more crowded because peoples' streets are closed, but it's okay. If the beach will be better next year than it's worth it." 

The goal is to make sure the local beaches can withstand the storms that will inevitably make their way to our shores. It's a preventative measure that the Army Corp says in the long term will be better for the towns. 

"Once this berm is broken then that's when we're going to get up to Hurricane Sandy like in New Jersey and houses will be demolished and it will be loss of infrastructure. The cost of replacing this is a lot cheaper than the loss of pricing one of the homes here in the town," explains Grunden. 

The Army Corp has already finished the beach replenishment of the Bethany and South b=Bethany beaches, but that doesn't mean they're done with the area. 

They are installing new fencing and crossovers or rather walkways at many beach access points in both beaches right now.

New fencing is being put up to help protect the newly built dunes and the pathway on Wellington Parkway is brand new to help those that are physically disabled.

Officials say it's a brand new design that they're hoping will make it easier for people to get to the beach. 

"The material that's going on a crossover is a new type of material that we've been using, but it's been incorporated into our specks this year because the of the walkability feature for people on bare feet to walk. The old material had some stone gravel in it, the new material is composition of sand and clay." 

The material will be softer to make it more comfortable to walk to the beach. All of the projects the Army corp is working on are set to be completed by September 7th. 

Categories: Delaware, Local News