University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Scope of Broadkill Beach sand project comes into view

Broadkill Beach civic leader Jim Bailey knew his Delaware Bay community was getting a much wider beach and dune but now that crews have started pumping sand, even he has been surprised at the scope of the project. When bulldozers are working on the low side, closest to Delaware Bay, they are obscured by the mountain of sand. And it's not just tall – about 16 feet – it's also wide.

"It's amazing," Bailey said. "The size of the dune is something you just couldn't picture."

The Army Corps of Engineers project combines two initiatives: deepening the lowest reach of the Delaware River main shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet and using the dredged sand to restore the badly eroded and storm-damaged shoreline at Broadkill.

Total cost: $63 million. Of that, about $30 million is being spent to pump the 1.9 million cubic yards of dredged channel sand onto the beach at Broadkill to create what some have described as "a megabeach."