Contractors with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are getting set to begin an $822,000 project to extend three stormwater outfall pipes in Rehoboth Beach.
Equipment is now on Deauville Beach from New Jersey-based contractor Reilly Construction, and corps spokesman Steve Rochette said work is expected to begin any day.
Stormwater outfall pipes that go into the ocean at Laurel Street and Rehoboth and Delaware avenues will be extended further out into the ocean. The pipes were buried during the February 2012 beach replenishment, and the corps had crews on site for the rest of the year to keep them clear. Late last year, the corps decided to permanently extend the pipes to prevent further problems during future beach renourishments.
Work is expected to begin at Delaware Avenue, the most problematic of the three because it is buried deepest under the sand. Blockages of the Delaware Avenue pipe have twice caused flooding: during Hurricane Sandy and earlier during an August storm, when the backed-up pipe caused flooding in the underground parking garage at Brighton Suites.
The city will have very little say in the project, Mayor Sam Cooper said. The commissioners approved spending $200,000 on the Rehoboth Avenue pipe, which had not caused problems to date. Corps officials said the Rehoboth Avenue pipe was eroding naturally, but the commissioners decided to extend the pipe to prevent hampering future beach renourishment.