Winter Beach Replenishment Project Planned In Fenwick

FENWICK ISLAND – Town officials say a beach replenishment project will likely run through June of next year.

In a Fenwick Island Town Council meeting last Friday, Mayor Natalie Magdeburger provided an update on a beach replenishment project along Delaware’s coastal communities.

“We’ve heard from DNREC,” she said. “They hope to have all their bids and work starting in the December through June time period. They hope to have it done by June.”

The state, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), typically performs beach nourishment projects in Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island, funded through a cost shared between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and USACE.

The federal agency has developed a design that includes periodic nourishment at an interval between three and six years. Those projects, however, are dependent on the availability of funding at both the federal and state level.

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According to USACE, Philadelphia District, a scheduled replenishment project along Fenwick’s beaches was set to commence last year. But last February, town officials announced the Army Corps would not return in 2021.

In an update last week, Magdeburger noted that state and federal agencies have identified three beach ends as potential staging areas for the upcoming replenishment project.

“When they do get to Fenwick, they intend to shut down Indian, Farmington and Bayard streets while they’re doing their dredging work,” she explained. “In years past, sometimes they’ve used them and sometimes they haven’t. But I think they’re just trying to get all their ducks in a row. That’s what we can expect from beach renourishment at this point in time.”

Magdeburger also provided community members last week with an update on the town’s sidewalk project.

In 2019, Fenwick Island initiated the first phase of its sidewalk construction project, which includes five or six bayside blocks south of James Street. And in February, the Fenwick Island Town Council signed off on a contract with Century Engineering to begin the first phase of construction this year.

With a contract to solicit bids completed, Magdeburger told community members last week the town could see work begin during the offseason.

“Bids should be opened on Oct. 10,” she said. “I think [Councilman] Ed Bishop is going to be contacting those businesses that are affected with right-of-entry documents that will need to be executed. But hopefully we will be able to get some of these sidewalks in during the off season. That’s our goal.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.