The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has begun a project to replace and rehabilitate the jetties at the entrance of the Murderkill River.
The Murderkill River flows from just west of Felton, northeast through Kent County to its inlet at the Delaware Bay just south of Bowers Beach.
Portions of the jetties that help define and stabilize the river inlet are deteriorating. The Department has issued a contract for the design of the project and expects to see construction begn in the fall of 2023.
In the summer of 2022, an emergency dredging project at the mouth of the Murderkill River removed more than 52,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river’s navigation channel.
The Murderkill Inlet is stabilized by jetties, structures on both sides of the river inlet that extend out into the Bay.
The jetty on the north side was rehabilitated in 2015 by placing quarry-stone over the top of a concrete bag structure. On the north side of the inlet, the rehabilitated portion ends roughly 300 feet bayward of the U.S. Coast Guard Station. There is scour inland of the concrete bags that remains uncovered in this segment of the inlet.
The jetty on the south side is made of deteriorating concrete bags and is low crested. The conditions of the jetty make it vulnerable to failure as well as sand overtopping, which hinders navigation.
The engineering design aims to replace or rehabilitate the southern jetty as well as the unrehabilitated section of the north jetty. It will also repair the scour inland of this section through beach nourishment.
After an inspection and full survey of the jetties, engineers will determine if an engineering design for the project developed in 2015 is still valid. It will be updated if necessary. Engineers will then design the project and apply for any needed permits with a goal of starting work on site during the fall of 2023.