Equipment to renourish three Delaware beaches is set to arrive at the end of this month, pushing replenishment projects for Bethany, South Bethany and Fenwick Island back further.
Dredges that will pull sand from the bottom of the ocean and pump it onto the beach are set to arrive in Bethany Beach on May 29 and June 1. The Army Corps of Engineers says renourishment will start as soon as they arrive.
The contractor Great Lakes Dredge & Dock will work in Bethany for about a month before moving to South Bethany from late June to mid to late July, then finishing up in Fenwick Island in early August. Work includes 2.8 miles running from Bethany to South Bethany and 1.2 miles of Fenwick Island.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Ed Voigt said a limited availability of dredges around the country delayed the projects.
“The supply of dredge contractors is substantially less than the demand for their work because they do not only do beach fill work, but they also do navigational dredging," Voigt said.
Navigational dredging includes work on port channels and harbors.
The Delaware beach renourishment projects cost about $17 million and are covered by federal funding. They were announced in May 2017 and were originally slated for last fall.
Some businesses have previously told Delaware Public Media they worry about how renourishment during the summer could affect tourism, but they’ve also said they understand the need for it.