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Opinion  Last Updated: Jul 29th, 2008 - 10:28:15

Hocker Grateful for Rt. 1 Help
By GERALD R. HOCKER
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I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of the people who have been laboring to address a serious situation threatening Delaware 1, just north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

As most folks who live in this area are aware, the beach just north of Indian River Inlet has been severely eroded.  While seasonal erosion during the winter is normal here, the unusual spring weather this year has made the problem especially pronounced. 

In fact, in all the years I've lived here I can never remember this stretch of beach being in worse condition.

Wind and waves have carried so much of the sand to the south side of the inlet, that only a few feet of beach separate the ocean from Delaware 1.  So dire is this situation that should we be hit with a major storm, this section of highway may be lost to the sea.

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) have recognized the threat and have been working to build up the beach.  A dedicated pipe for pumping sand from the south of the inlet to the north-side beach has been put into use.

I'd like to thank DNREC's Tony Pratt for meeting with me at the site and quickly responding to my concerns.  DNREC Secretary John Hughes also deserves recognition for getting a bulldozer to re-grade the pumped sand on the north beach.

DelDOT was instrumental in supplying heavy equipment to refill a hole temporarily created on the south beach by the pumping operation.

The dredge crews and heavy equipment operators working at the site are doing a very good job under tight constraints.  Required to keep the south-side beach open to tourists through Labor Day, these workers have been operating under restricted hours and doing additional work to ensure the safety of bathers between pumping operations.

Again, kudos to everyone involved in this project.  It has been a fine example of inter-agency cooperation. I look forward to increased pumping operations after the holiday passes and the restoration of the protection to Delaware 1.

Sincerely,

State Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-38, Ocean View)



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