Wednesday, May 20, 2009
DNREC Press Release
DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation will re-open the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier on Friday, May 22. The pier has been closed since March 23, while repair work on the pier’s dilapidated pilings was completed.
“Like thousands of anglers and visitors, we are pleased that the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier will be open again in time for the Memorial Day holiday,” said Collin O’Mara, DNREC Secretary. “In addition, because we received such a favorable bid for this repair work, we will be able to open even more of the pier to the public earlier than expected this summer.”
Because the bid for the original repair work was lower than anticipated, the Division has authorized the contractor to continue to repair dozens of additional pilings. When that work is completed, another 168 feet of the pier will be opened to the public. Work to repair the additional pilings is expected to be completed within the next two months.
During the pier’s closure, 101 pilings in need of immediate repair were refurbished. These piling were deemed “unacceptable” because they no longer had any load-carrying capacity.
“It was unfortunate that we had to close the pier, but it was necessary to ensure the public’s safety,” said Charles Salkin, director of DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation. “Now, not only is the pier re-opening, but we’re able to keep working to make it even better.”
The funding for the repairs comes from a combination of about $200,000 in state monies secured in 2008, and $500,000 in federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife funds.
The all-wooden pier, originally constructed during WW II by the Department of the Army as a mining wharf, has undergone limited rehabilitation over the years. The useful life of the pier with the newly refurbished supports is estimated to be between four and eight years. It is assumed that after that time, continued deterioration of areas not addressed by these repairs will require more rebuilding or replacement. The approximate cost to replace the existing wooden structure with a new concrete pier is $10 to $15 million.