Opening of Rehoboth’s temp Boardwalk restrooms delayed

Equipment delivery issues holds up finishing State Road pump station project
May 21, 2024

Due to issues related to hooking up power, it appears the temporary bathrooms at the north end of the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk will not be ready for Memorial Day weekend. That means for the opening weekend of the summer, the city will have two restroom locations near the Boardwalk – the Bandstand and Delaware Avenue.

Public Works Director Henry Matlosz made the announcement as part of a summer readiness update during a Boardwalk and beach committee meeting May 17. Delmarva Power has to do some work to the transformer that the bathrooms are hooking into, and that work will take a construction crew to make those repairs, he said.

The temporary bathrooms, which will be located on two city-owned parcels immediately north of the One Virginia condominium building, are needed because of delays related to the Rehoboth Beach Patrol project taking place on Baltimore Avenue. The expectation was that the demolition of the old beach patrol building would take place immediately following the close of the lifeguarding season last year, with the public restrooms constructed in time for the beginning of the 2024 season. However, that didn’t happen because of months-long procedural delays that pushed the demolition into early 2024.

Matlosz said the temporary bathrooms are in place and water has been hooked up, but power is still needed. It’s very dark in the restrooms without lights, he said.

Mayor Stan Mills, who chairs the committee, said the bathrooms are very nice. They’re a scale above port-a-potties, he said.

There are two temporary bathroom facilities. Each one has two stalls and three urinals on the men’s side, four stalls on the women’s side and a handicap stall, said Mills. With the two facilities together, it’s nearly as many fixtures as were in the old building, he said.

Matlosz said mobi mats have also been installed. The bathrooms will be in place until October, he said.

As for the beach patrol project, Matlosz said pilings for the building have finally been installed. It took longer than anticipated to get them in because of debris and soil that was harder than expected, he said.

Next for the project will be the foundation. Matlosz said the city and contractor will be working closely with surrounding businesses to limit disruption. The worst of it will occur when concrete trucks have to come in, he said.

Construction will continue on the beach patrol project through the summer. Matlosz said the protective fencing will be moved closer to the work zone to provide as much space as possible on the Boardwalk.

As for access to the Boardwalk from Baltimore Avenue, right now the south-side sidewalk is open, while the north side is closed, said Matlosz. When Delmarva Power is working on the transformer, the south side will be closed and the north side will open, he said.

“For a good portion of the beginning of the summer, it will be just one of the sidewalks open,” said Matlosz.

Pump station project delayed

On the other side of town, the rebuilding of the State Road pump station is also experiencing delays. 

The city first discussed the project in August 2021, when officials said the concrete for the building was original to the 80-year-old structure and had been damaged by exposure to sulfuric acid as part of operations.

Former Public Works Director Kevin Williams described the pump station as critical because all of the city’s wastewater flow, as well as the flow from Henlopen Acres and North Shores, goes through it.

Demolition of the old building began in May of last year. The project was expected to take about nine months to complete. The contracted amount for the project is about $2.5 million.

Matlosz said the chief factor in the delay has been the lead time for major electrical equipment. Primarily, he said, the automatic transfer switch, which automatically transfers power from a primary to secondary source if an outage occurs, was ordered shortly after the project began and has only recently arrived on site. 

There were also some issues early related to required engineering changes, and the installation and rerouting of a water main pipe, said Matlosz.

The pump station is expected to be partially operational by the end of May or early June, said Matlosz. The 12-inch force main is expected to be ready by then; the second force main, which is 16 inches, will require a bit more work, he said.

So far, said Matlosz, there’s been about $40,000 in additional expenses. Permanent fencing is being added, which will add some cost, he said.


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