Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

DelDOT and DNREC are working to strengthen dunes near Route 1 and Indian River Inlet Bridge

DelDOT camera on Route 1 at the Indian River Inlet Bridge on the evening of March 27, 2024.
DelDOT camera on Route 1 at the Indian River Inlet Bridge on the evening of March 27, 2024.

Route 1 northbound near the Indian River Inlet Bridge was shut down for several hours on Tuesday because of flooding from the ocean.

DelDOT and DNREC are both working to fix and prepare with more storms to come.

DelDOT officials say Tuesday was an alignment of several circumstances: a full moon, high tide cycle, and coastal storm leading to high water breaching a section of dune just north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

That closed Route 1 northbound for several hours because a significant amount of water and sand was pushed on a 30-yard section of the roadway.

The area has seen similar issues with dune breaches with the last one occurring this past October.

Kathleen Bergin with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship says the work fixing the breached dunes will be ongoing.

"We're going to continue to work in this area for the next several days to make sure that we are shoring it up as best as we can,” said Bergin. “We will start moving from a road front delivery system to more of a beachfront delivery system as far as the sand is concerned."

Bergin notes DNREC will monitor tide cycles, swells, and the wind in the area, especially during high tide, during the latest rain with the hope it doesn’t come in from the east and moves to the northwest or west.

DelDOT and DNREC worked to clear the roadway, and together they brought in thousands of tons of new sand to repair the dune.

"We're hoping that the reinforced dune section here will prevent any additional issues from happening. We will be continuing to monitor it obviously and watch it closely. Obviously DNREC has also been out there just to make sure that we're getting enough sand in place to help provide that needed barrier between the ocean and the roadway," said C.R. McLeod, DelDOT’s director of community relations.

McLeod notes the area has seen a lot of erosion, which has created the issue.

He adds both DelDOT and DNREC as well as other state agencies are looking for long range solutions to deal with flooding in that area.