Scott Maslow sent us his guest blog post thoughts on the Army Corps raising 530 linear feet of the Cape May Seawall. Maslow is the chair of the Cape May Seawall/Promenade committee installed by the resolution of the City Council on November 21, 2017
Raising of the Cape May Seawall–You Still Have A Choice
Let me first clarify my position. I totally support the Army Corps 530 ft raising of the Seawall at the corner of Wilmington and Beach Ave because it is an important component in protecting that section of Cape May from Future sea surges.
It is the most vulnerable section of Cape May for overtopping and deserves to be the first area to address in protecting our town. We should welcome the Army Corps assistance in all phases of design and costs. They have requested public feedback. Absent any, they will go with their design.
The aspects (of the project) that still can be altered are their design and the height. The Army Corps has given us as a community the options of between a 15ft to 17ft NAVH88 high wall (approximately 7.5 ft above its current height at 17ft for 350ft then taper). Statistically, the net benefits/cost would be the same at any of these heights.
Goto: https://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Portals/39/docs/Civil/Cape-May-Seawall/Draft_Feasibility_Report_EA_CMS_Concurrent_Review.pdf?ver=8LDxCQHjeOzR2No_7nf8DQ%3d%3d pg 48, 49, 50 to see a pictorial of their design.
After the initial meeting with the Army Corps 3 years ago Council and the Seawall/Promenade Committee have worked to develop an alternative design to the Seawall that would blend in and could be continued (at a lower height) when we eventually extend the Promenade to Madison.
Approximately 6 months ago Mott McDonald was awarded the contract for engineering design and a beach evaluation, similar to the Army Corp feasibility study to extend the Promenade eventually to the Army Corps project.
The last design, a 3D rendering by Doug Gaffney in my opinion hits most of the parameters of what design best serves Cape May. All designs by Mott McDonald were to have also the ability to raise just the back wall (beachside) in the event the sea levels increase in the future.
In our opinion, the front wall at Wilmington and Beach (Army Corp project) should be in the 13ft-15ft range and the back wall to 15ft vs. the 17ft range. It will offer the same protection. Costs should be approximately the same due to the lower street-side profile.
The choice is yours. It is our town and your neighborhood (I’m at the other end).
The urgency now is because public comment ends March 26. Any questions please contact me by email or make comments on Doug’s site.