Rehoboth Beach Patrol project facing delays

City to install temporary bathrooms near Boardwalk’s north end
April 26, 2024

The Rehoboth Beach Patrol project in Rehoboth Beach is facing delays because the contractor is having trouble driving piles to desired depths.

Interim City Manager Evan Miller announced the delay during a commissioner meeting April 19. The contractor is dealing with issues related to pile driving, he said, and the contractor has been unable to achieve the desired depth on some of the piles, possibly because of concrete and debris.

Years in the making, work on the new building began in February with the demolition of the old beach patrol. By mid-March, the steel piles along the Boardwalk had been installed. Marking where the long wooden piles would go began soon after. Shortly after that, a large rig was brought in to begin pile driving.

Fewer than half of the 86 piles that are part of the original design have been driven to various depths, said Public Works Director Henry Matlosz, in an email April 25. The contractor is running into some kind of hard surface, he said.

“It’s possible that it is some kind of obstruction or it may be dense or hardened soil. A soils engineer took boring samples Monday, and these are currently being analyzed,” said Matlosz.

Next week, a crane and other equipment will be brought in to facilitate installation of the remaining piles, said Matlosz. Once more data is received regarding placement and depth of the piles, structural engineers and architects will determine if any additional piles will be required or other modifications needed to achieve the desired bearing capacity, he said.

“While response to this unexpected challenge must be data-driven, we are working as expeditiously as possible,” said Matlosz, adding that once piles are driven, the concrete foundation can be poured.

In addition to the pilings for the new beach patrol building, the city is also continuing to work on temporary locations for lifeguards this summer while their new home is under construction. City officials previously announced the beach patrol will have a split operation – the chamber information booth at the end of Delaware Avenue and in the dirt parking lot at the end of Lake Avenue on city-owned land.

Miller said sewer, water and electric lines have been installed at the Lake Avenue site. The remaining pipes will be installed and hooked up once the trailers are put in place in May, he said.

Construction of the new $5 million, two-story facility with public restrooms on the Boardwalk level and beach patrol headquarters on the second floor is expected to take about 18 months.


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