Access to section of Indian River Inlet bulkhead restricted

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control’s Division of Parks & Recreation on May 8 restricted access to a 120-foot section of bulkhead at the Indian River Inlet within Delaware Seashore State Park.

Officials said the sidewalk and adjacent capstones in the inlet have experienced significant erosion, creating the need to close off access to the section for safety reasons.

The section was closed off in 2018 with a temporary fence and signage, but the condition of the site has further deteriorated, they said. The Army Corps is erecting a chain-link fence and posting signage at the location, and will continue to monitor the site while long-term repair options are further investigated.

Pedestrians and visitors are still able to access the sidewalk on either side of the restricted section.

The Army Corps has conducted hydrographic surveys of the site, officials noted, adding that the surveys indicate a partial slope collapse beneath the water line, likely due to the presence of a deep hole close to the shoreline and strong tidal currents.

The Army Corps is also coordinating with DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation on drainage issues at the location. A long-term fix will depend on the availability of future funding and feasibility of solutions for stabilizing the section of shoreline, officials said.