Seventeen Foot Wall Constructed Along Cape May Beachfront
To build the wall or not build the sea wall? That is the question Cape May should be asking. How many citizens of Cape May are aware of an Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to build a seventeen-foot wall constructed along the Cape May beachfront?
Specifically, the wall would be constructed or poured at the corner of Beach Avenue and Wilmington on the east end. The word poured is used to imply if ACOE plans proceed the wall would be smooth concrete.
The wall would extend for approximately 200 feet to the corner of Wilmington Ave. Another 200 feet down Beach Avenue to the west would create a seawall.
Last week, the Army Corps published their draft plans for the wall on the ACOE website. They want public comment. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study is a detailed plan of drawings, facts, and figures.
For some reason, this notice does not appear on the City’s website. Could it be that 60 days into the new Cape May administration, the governing body has no interest, “build the wall?”
Remember Hurricane Sandy? Remember the images of sand around the street signs on the east end of Cape May? If the great flood as reported by the Cape May Sentinel is a matter of when not if, should Cape May participate with a willing Army Corps of Engineers offer to help?
Projects like this are expensive. Very expensive. Maybe the expensive homes at the east end of Cape May would benefit. Maybe those homes are happy with the risk associated with non-participation. The citywide benefit is the possible reduction of flood insurance rates.
The seawall, at approximately 3.7 million dollars, the city would eventually be responsible, before grants of 35% of the cost. Of course, if the city chooses to let the project languish and die, the Army Corp has a long line of projects waiting for help.
Walls are not popular
At the outset of the 2021 administration council disbanded most citizen’s advisory committees. Included was the Cape May Sea Wall- Promenade Advisory Committee, chaired by Doctor Scott Maslow. Councilwoman Stacey Sheehan was the council liaison to the committee.
It is not entirely clear who wanted the committees dissolved. With nearly $600,000.00 of BRIC grant money at play, it seems the citizens of Cape May might want input. The Army wants input, both from the citizens and the City of Cape May.
Doctor Scott Maslow who passionately chaired the seawall committee is willing to talk to anyone who wants information on this project. Feel free to Email him with your questions. email@example.com
A lot of questions remain. The most effective height and the esthetics of the final construction. “The Army Corps is very busy and are almost exclusively interested in just resiliency. Maslow said. “We got a design that is a box. I believe we as a community can do a lot better.”
There is also the question of the money already invested in design investigation. The header image of this post is from Mott MacDonald who worked with the previous administration on the design.
My feeling is that most people are not aware of this proposal. I intend to report it so you can decide which direction the council should take it.
Ultimately it’s still your choice.