Infrastructure projects continue in Dewey

Read Avenue bayside shoreline project nears completion
December 19, 2019

A major project designed to reduce flooding on Read Avenue bayside in Dewey Beach is nearing completion.

Marianne Walch, Center for the Inland Bays science and restoration coordinator, said underground pipe installed from a junction box to the bay will have tide gate valves that close during high tides, preventing backflow of bay water into the storm drain system. 

Shoreline riprap and a three-foot dune will help dissipate wave energy that leads to flooding, and sand-filled basket structures will provide a stable spine for the dune, Walch said. 

Planting of vegetation on and next to the new dune will take place in February or March, and a new pathway will lead to the bay and a kayak launch, Walch said.

The project stems from a stormwater master plan developed by the Center for the Inland Bays that studied the area from Saulsbury Street south to Collins Street.

“The plan identified 41 projects for Dewey Beach,” Walch said. “This is the first.”

Walch said intense development has contributed to Dewey’s flooding problems.

“All of the runoff from a 30-acre drainage area of mostly impervious surface collects at that outfall point,” Walch said.

The first part of the project, an offshore oyster reef, was installed off Read Avenue bayside earlier this fall to stabilize the shoreline and provide habitats for small fish and other animals.

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