Carper visits Bethany Beach to see replenishment project

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper visits Bethany Beach in 2018 to see the 2018 renourishment project for the beaches there. The next renourishment is expected to take place in the fall/winter of 2020/2021.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District announced on Sept. 21 that it had awarded a contract to Weeks Marine Inc. for $11.1 million to conduct the periodic nourishment of the Bethany & South Bethany Coastal Storm Risk Management project in Delaware. Work is the result of a partnership between the Army Corps’ Philadelphia District and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control.

Work will involve dredging more than 732,000 cubic yards of sand from offshore sand borrow sites. Sand will be pumped through a series of pipes and placed on the beaches in Bethany and South Bethany. Most of the work involves widening the beach, while dunes will be repaired in certain areas.

In Bethany Beach, work will take place between Ocean View Parkway and Oakwood Street. In South Bethany, work will take place between Evergreen Road and several hundred feet south of Logan Street. The contract also includes the planting of dune grass, installation of sand fencing and repairs of dune crossover/access points.

Replenishment aerial photo

The coastal renourishment process uses a dredge barge and large pipes to pump sand from offshore borrow areas onto the beach, where it is used to restore the beach and dunes to their engineered design (shown here in Bethany Beach in 2018).

The Bethany-South Bethany project was first constructed in 2008 and has been nourished/repaired in subsequent years.

The project is cost-shared between the federal government and the State of Delaware. Army Corps representatives said they will issue a Notice to Proceed to Weeks Marine Inc. in the next several weeks, with construction expected to take place in the fall and winter. The project is designed to reduce storm damages to property and infrastructure, they noted.

Bethany Beach officials told the Coastal Point recently that a scaled-down renourishment project had been expected this fall, but that funding for a full renourishment project had since been obtained.