Corps finishes Laurel outfall

Delaware Avenue to start this week
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished work on an extension of the stormwater outfall pipe at Laurel Street and is set to start work at Delaware Avenue. BY RYAN MAVITY
June 15, 2013

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished extensions this week on the Laurel Street stormwater outfall pipe in Rehoboth Beach.

After erecting a protective wall to keep workers safe from waves, the corps’ subcontractor, Channel Marine Construction, has been erecting 30 to 40 foot wooden poles, which resemble telephone poles, to support the outfall. The Laurel Street pipe extends 18 feet into the ocean.

The corps had planned to finish last weekend, but due to bad weather, Corps spokesman Steve Rochette said completion of the Laurel Street outfall was delayed until June 12.

Rochette said Channel are mobilizing a larger crane and transfering equipment from Laurel Street to Delaware Avenue. A larger crane will be brought in for the Delaware Avenue extension, Rochette said, because the outfall pipe is further out into the ocean. The Delaware Avenue pipe will be extended an additional 36 feet.

Mayor Sam Cooper said Channel has moved faster than expected. Cooper raised concern of delays in getting supplies and equipment, because the crew moved so quickly to complete Laurel Street. However, Rochette said supplies arrived in time and that Channel will do the work at Delaware Avenue.

Cooper said he wants to see the project finished. He said if the supplies could are delivered, the Delaware Avenue extension could be done by July 4. Previously, the corps has said work on the Delaware Avenue pipe would be finished by the end of July.

The $800,000 outfall extensions at Rehoboth and Delaware avenues and Laurel Street were necessary because the pipes became clogged during the Feburary 2012 beach replenishment. The extensions will prevent sand from getting into the pipes – an issue that twice has caused flooding  – and hindering future beach renourishments.

Rehoboth Avenue was the first pipe to be extended starting in April, but the crew ran into weather-related delays – the crane can operate only in winds below 20 mph. The Rehoboth Avenue extension was finished before Memorial Day weekend.