Expected to begin the Saturday of Easter weekend, officials have decided to hold off on beginning beach replenishment in Rehoboth Beach until Tuesday, April 11. However, the city has learned it’s scheduled to receive 100,000 more cubic yards of sand than expected.
City officials were told during a status meeting April 6 that the start was pushed a few days due to weather conditions last week and having to refuel the dredge, said Lynne Coan, Rehoboth Beach spokesperson. The amount of sand needed to bring the beach back to design dimensions is greater than originally estimated, she said, adding the project in Rehoboth will extend from the Deauville Beach area south to Delaware Avenue.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District announced in late 2022 that it had awarded a $23.8 million contract for beach replenishment projects in Delaware. New Jersey-based Weeks Marine has been staging equipment on the beach near the Deauville Beach parking lot for a few weeks.
Rehoboth is now expected to receive about 296,000 cubic yards of sand. There will also be dune fence replacement in the areas that were damaged during the Mother’s Day storm last year.
In Dewey, about 194,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed on the beach from Saulsbury Street south to Beach Avenue.
The amount of sand in Rehoboth and Dewey is on par with the 410,000 cubic yards of sand pumped in 2019 and the 620,805 cubic yards in 2016.
The contract with Weeks also calls for about 245,000 cubic yards in Bethany Beach, 287,000 cubic yards in South Bethany and 207,000 cubic yards in Fenwick Island. The sequence of work will be north to south. It’s estimated the 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week project will take at least two weeks in each community.
Edward Voight, corps spokesman, said April 6 it hasn’t been determined if the other communities will also be receiving additional sand. There’s enough funding for the other communities to bring the beach back to design dimensions, which means if there’s a need for more sand in a specific community, they will get it, he said.
The cost of the projects is split between the federal government and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – 65% federal, 35% state. The project, designed to reduce storm damage to infrastructure, has been done five times before – 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2019.