Superstorm Sandy's Effect on Coastal Highway

Tons of sand blocked the southbound approaches to Route 1 at the foot of Indian River Inlet bridge following Superstorm Sandy, but state officials say it will take much more sand to protect the road from future storms.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O'Mara says 1 million cubic yards of sand is needed to rebuild the dune and widen the beach on the north side of the inlet. That's three times more than the amount of sand used in two resorts during a recent coastal replenishment project.
 
Using aerial photographs, Delaware Department of Transportation engineers estimate about 25,000 cubic yards of sand washed over a half-mile stretch of the highway.  O'Mara says his
agency estimates the total is closer to 125,000 to 175,000 cubic yards washed on the roadway, with just as much sand washed into the ocean.
 
As Sandy churned off the coast Oct. 27 into Oct. 29, waves and storm surge breached the roadway in several places about one-half mile from the base of the bridge north along Route 1. In at least two locations, the ocean water and sand washed into the marshes on the west side of the road. Officials closed the road early Oct. 28, and it remained closed for a week.
Back to Top