CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: DE-AL
APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General
BUSINESS PROGRAM: Navigation
LOCATION: Project is located at Indian River Inlet, Delaware.
DESCRIPTION: The project was authorized in 1937 (R&H Doc 41, 75th Cong, 1st Session) and modified in 1945 (HD 330, 76th Cong, 1st Session). The project authorization includes stabilizing the inlet by construction of parallel jetties 500 ft apart; the dredging of a channel generally 200 ft wide and 15 ft deep from the inner ends of the jetties to a point in the Bay substantially 7000 ft from the ocean shoreline, dredging a channel 9 ft deep, 100 ft wide in the Bay and 80 ft wide in the River, from that depth in the existing channel in Indian River Bay to and including a turning basin 9 ft deep, 175 ft wide and 300 ft long at Old Landing; then about 8200 ft to highway bridge at Millsboro, 60 ft wide, 4 ft deep.
Project Condition Surveys of the navigation channel were conducted in FY20. Additional data collection in the inlet and especially of the failed bulkhead area will be conducted in FY21. Continued monitoring of the channel, jetties and scour holes is critical to protect surrounding infrastructure and assets.
PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project provides safe navigation channel for commercial, recreational and U.S. Coast Guard use. Indian River Inlet is the only water access point into the Delaware Inland Bay area that includes Indian River Bay and Rehoboth Bay.
Ongoing Activities: Storm Supplemental Funds received in FY17 for this O&M navigation project totaling $275,000. The interior portion of the north inlet shoreline/revetment was severely eroded during several Nor'easters resulting in scarping at the end of the structure. These funds were used to repair and stabilize the terminus of the revetment using rock and a green infrastructure approach. Additional monitoring surveys and coordination with the State of DE were conducted in FY20.
An Indian River Inlet workgroup meets annually to discuss regional technical issues including the navigation project, sand bypass plant and the shore protection projects in the vicinity. The workgroup includes participants from USACE, State of Delaware and the University of Delaware. The annual meeting was held in February 2020 with the theme of Regional Sediment Management. USACE’s National Regional Sediment Management program funded proposals in FY18-19 and the State of Delaware and USACE continue to partner on an RSM approach. Concerns: A failed section of bulkhead/revetment along the interior north shoreline is compromising a section of sidewalk and other infrastructure near the Delaware Seashore State Park. The condition continues to deteriorate and expand to adjacent areas. Public access to the failed area has been restricted due to the safety risk and USACE continues to monitor the damage. Funding for investigations, design and repair is required and is anticipated to be costly due to the steep slope into the inlet. Additionally, the Indian River Inlet jetties are in poor condition with over 350 linear ft of loss from the north jetty seaward end since 1960 and the south jetty requires sand tightening. Funding has been requested for a Major Maintenance Report that will serve as the decision document for repair of the degraded bulkhead and jetties.
PROJECT MANAGER: Monica Chasten