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New project will help combat flooding at Bowers Beach

Bowers Beach Flooding
Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney, along with representatives from DElDOT and the General Assembly, visited South Bowers Road to hear about a road raising project expected to address flooding there.

South Bowers Road, like many areas in Delaware’s coastal communities, experiences flooding year round.

And in this case it affects residents’ ability to receive mail, get to school, and receive medical care in an emergency.

South Bowers Road is one of many spots along Delaware’s coast that’s seeing increased flooding due to climate change.

For the Bowers Beach residents, this flooding restricts their ability to travel on the road on any given day, regardless of weather.

Carney_Bowers Beach
Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

It also affects the ability of school buses, mail carriers, and emergency vehicles to reach residents, as well.

The project will raise the road 5 inches and DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski says its incorporating a less expensive solution than used elsewhere.

This is the first of its kind really anywhere. This is a new material that we’re going to be using. It’s a lighter porous material that’s going to help funnel the water a little bit better,” Majeski explained. “So, we’re testing it out here and if it’s successful we have other locations across the state that we’ll be implementing it.”

Carney adds this type of experimentation is a priority in the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, funding the innovative projects that help the state address specific needs of communities like the one at Bowers Beach.

We’ve got a great opportunity now with additional funds made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill championed by our congressional delegation Senators Carper and Coons, and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, and President Biden. So we’ll be able to do more projects,” said Carney. “This is not a Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, but it’s the kind of things we’re trying to address with a significant amount of that money.”

The preliminary plans are complete, and construction is set to begin this summer or fall.

DELDOT says the $685,000 project should take about 4-6 weeks.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021