Sussex County Beach Replenishment Delayed Again, Will Stretch in - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Beach Replenishment Delayed Again, Will Stretch into August

Posted: May 24, 2018 3:59 PM Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- For the second time in a week, Sussex County's long-awaited beach replenishment has been pushed back.

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the project would begin on May 25 in Bethany Beach. Now that date has shifted forward to May 29. For much of this year, the work was scheduled for May 15, after officials originally stated the replenishment would begin in fall of 2017. 

This most recent delay means that Bethany's portion of the work will last until late June. Local umbrella vendor Steen's Beach Service has already made modifications.

"We had to close down Ocean View Parkway [stand] but just until they're done with those streets and then we opened up Maplewood which is not always open," explains employee Anna Tapparo. "We'll just kind of roll with the punches."

One of Tapparo's customers, longtime beachgoer Patty Enders says she's not worried about the work.

"I’ve been through before and they are very gracious about it--the people that do it," she tells WBOC. "They’re very helpful so it works out nicely."

Bethany's delay has a subsequent ripple effect down the coastline. Now, Fenwick Island's portion of the work won't be complete until August. Warren's Station's owner Scott Mumford says he supports beach replenishment but this timing couldn't be worse.

"Who in their right mind thinks it's a good idea to replenish a tourist town-- like Fenwick Island for the second time in five years--during the peak season of tourist season?" he says. "It just doesn't make logical sense to me."

Mumford says in the past, summertime beach replenishment turned off tourists and subsequently impacted the hospitality industry.

Officials have long stated that replenishment is needed to protect the coastal towns from winter storms and flooding. Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon also says it will benefit the town as the replenished beach will be able to accommodate more people. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the $17 million project could be further pushed back due to unforeseen circumstances or bad weather. The recent spate of delays, according to the agency, are due to the contractor being held up at their current project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that project must be complete before the dredge boat can head to Delaware.


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