It's déjà vu all over again.
The current scene along the shoreline of Broadkill Beach is an exact duplicate of what it looked like in 2018 – destroyed dune crossovers and 15-foot drop-offs.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section has addressed dune-crossing erosion at Broadkill Beach for the last several years, said Michael Globetti, DNREC media relations manager.
He said DNREC staff surveyed the conditions at Broadkill following the end-of-January nor' easter. “DNREC's plan for restoring Broadkill is the same plan we've used in recent years,” he said.
First, he said, the main pedestrian dune crossing at the end of Route 16 near the Broadkill Store will be restored to allow people to park and walk onto the beach. He said work will begin within the next few weeks if there aren't additional storms.
Following that work, later in the spring, crews will work to restore other dune crossings that are not as heavily used.
“That is what we’ve done at Broadkill the last few years following winter storms – get the main crossing restored and accessible as quickly as conditions allow, then go back in the spring, and restore and reopen additional dune crossings,” Globetti said.
The last time a dune restoration project occurred was in fall 2018 following a series of storms in early September.
At that time, DNREC officials said although there was damage, the replenishment and dune-enhancement project worked as planned. In the past, damage would have been sustained by homes along the beach.
In 2016, a $63 million replenishment project was completed at Broadkill Beach along the Delaware Bay north of Lewes. More than 2 million cubic yards of sand were pumped in from the Delaware Bay bottom along a 3-mile stretch of beach, adding 150 feet to its width. A 16-foot dune was constructed along with fencing and beach grass, and a beach barrier was added between homes and the dunes.