Beach Pumping Project Nearly Complete In OC

Beach Pumping Project Nearly Complete In OC
File photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — The latest beach replenishment project in Ocean City is nearing the finish line and is expected to be completed ahead of schedule.

Ocean City’s beaches are replenished every four years, or occasionally more frequently if the beaches are severely damaged and eroded during hurricanes or coastal storms. The resort’s beaches have been replenished five times since the inception of the Atlantic Coast of Maryland Shoreline Protection Project.

This year’s beach replenishment project began after the summer season in October with the familiar heavy equipment, pipes and other gear seen around the resort off and on for decades showing up at the staging area at the north end of town near the Delaware line. Over the last couple of months, crews worked practically around the clock from the north end moving south.

The goal was to complete the project, which runs from 146th Street to the north end of the Boardwalk at 27th Street, by the end of the calendar year. According to the city website’s daily updates on the progress of the beach replenishment project, crews were working in the area between 43rd and 42nd Streets by midweek this week with the goal of reaching the finish line at 27th Street before the weekend.

“Beach replenishment will actually wrap up this week,” said City Engineer Terry McGean. “All went as planned.”

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McGean said there were few issues during the project as crews steadily pushed south from the Delaware line.

“They lost a few days to weather and a dredge repair,” he said. “Otherwise, things went very smoothly, and they are finishing ahead of schedule.”

Beach replenishment began in Ocean City in 1994 through a 50-year agreement with the town, Worcester County and the state of Maryland partnering with the federal Army Corps of Engineers, which provides over 50 percent of the funding for the massive undertaking. The overall project includes a wider, elevated beach, a protective sea wall along the Boardwalk and a vegetated dune system from the end of the Boardwalk to the Delaware state line.

Last March, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Corps and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced an agreement to source sand from the Weaver Shoal about seven miles off the coast of Ocean City. Sand usually sourced from borrow areas in state waters has been depleted from previous replenishment projects.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.