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Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Delaware Department
of Natural Resources
and Environmental Control


North Indian River Inlet Marina Complex
Delaware Seashore State Park

State Managed Rehabilitation and Modernization Plan

Status Report

May 2003

Prepared by: W. Britt Murray
Chief, Office of Design & Development
Division of Parks and Recreation

May 8, 2003

Safety Improvements:

Numerous safety improvement issues have been addressed since the Bond Bill Committee notified the Division that we would indeed be responsible for planning, design, reconstruction and operation of this marina as opposed to a private partnership.

The deteriorated bulkhead, which caused sidewalk undermining and the creation of sinkholes, has been rehabilitated. The old sidewalk was removed; lower waterside structural members replaced/repaired, holes in bulkhead patched, landside of bulkhead filled and grass planted. A new sidewalk has been constructed immediately adjacent to the existing parking, approximately 30 feet from the bulkhead, thereby directing pedestrian traffic to use this travel way as opposed to walking adjacent to the bulkhead. This repair to the bulkhead was designed to protect landside structures and utilities and to last at least until the entire structure is replaced in the winter of 2003.

New overhead light fixtures have been installed to replace the old, sometimes inactive fixtures. This provides patrons with reliable lighting for safety and security reasons.

Repairs to the docks have been completed in the form of the installation of 'diamond-plate' aluminum plates in walkways and gussets (triangular structural components joining main walkways with finger piers). This plating addresses severe deterioration of the old dock system. Before these repairs were started, there were reports of people stepping on deteriorated sections and having them break away and fall into the marina basin. Repairs have been completed at over 190 locations throughout the dock system and are anticipated to last until the entire dock system is replaced by the 2005 boating season. Also, during the gusset/walkway repairs, any power posts determined to be electrically or structurally unsafe are being replaced. 50 Power posts have been replaced during this safety improvement work, the majority of which are suitable for salvage and re-use on the replacement docks as they will only be one or two years old.

Public Involvement:

To date, the Division has solicited input (via in person discussion and a customer survey) and provided information to the general public and slipholders on several occasions. A public open house was held on August 23rd to describe the conceptual plan for the reconstruction of the marina and the associated schedule of activities (exactly as was voted on and passed in May/June 2002 by the Committee).

The Division initially received a less than favorable reception from the slipholders; specifically they stated that their interests were not being addressed in as timely a fashion as they would have liked. Constructive suggestions were offered regarding the scheduling of the Dry Stack storage facility being constructed first and the associated loss of 25' wet slips, even though, from the owners perspective, this was the most economically feasible way to optimize the cash flow of generating early revenue to fund improvements.

These comments were used to modify the plan approved by the Committee, which had 192 wet slips ranging in size from 35' to 50' in length and 192 Dry Stack slips for 30' and under boats. The slipholders message was clear, "build new docks, dredge the marina basin and rectify electric problems on the docks as quickly as possible". We utilized their comments to modify the conceptual plan and the associated schedule of activities. These modified plans were presented to the group at the second meeting on November 1st.

In essence, the new schedule reflects the following; construction of one-half the docks, with upgraded electric, one-half the dredging, the construction of the new bulkhead, boat ramp and travel lift completed by the 2004 boating season as opposed to the old plan which would not have these components replaced until the 2006 boating season. The current plan now has 274 wet slips and 174 Dry Stack slips. This change in the number of wet slips has increased the cost of the reconstruction by approximately $2 million. This additional capital expenditure can be absorbed by utilizing federal US Fish & Wildlife funds for the boat ramp construction and modifying the timing and value of principle and interest payments to the Parks Endowment fund, while still remaining within the $8.8 million and twenty year payback limits established by epilogue language.

The slipholders were most appreciative of this modified plan and schedule at our meeting on November 1st and showed strong support for the Division to accomplish this. By making these modifications to the plan, we can assure every current slipholder will have a wet slip, if they choose to stay in a wet slip, when the reconstruction is complete.

The Division held a progress meeting on April 4, 2003 to update slipholders and the general public on the status of design and present the most recent plans and schedules for construction. The presentation was very well received and public continued their support for the project.

In conjunction with public workshops sponsored by DelDOT for the Indian River Inlet Bridge replacement, Parks was invited to also display current plans for the northside improvements. As you can imagine changes to the existing bridge have a significant impact on all aspects of operation of Delaware Seashore State Park, especially immediately north and south of the inlet, and the two agencies are working closely to insure that the finished product not only provides for a location sensitive design for the bridge, but must enhance the neighboring park regarding access, aesthetics and public use. Parks attended these workshops and presented plans to the general public on February 26th, April 23rd and April 24th. The most common comment heard from attendees/participants was “We are so pleased the State is keeping this marina and northside park instead of giving it away forever to the private group.”

The Division has created a website ( to keep interested parties apprised of the planning and design status and to continue to solicit comments from our users. The website went ‘on-line’ in January 2003. As of April 26th, we have had 24,511 visitors, many who submitted questions or comments via a ‘feedback’ component on the site.

Marina Planning, Design, Construction:

The Division has hired the following professional services to assist in the planning, design and construction management for the reconstruction; Baker Associates, Landscape Architects/Planners to act as Owner's professional expert regarding land use, circulation (both vehicular and pedestrian), site layout and design, aesthetics, customer orientation, landscaping, etc. We have also retained the services of Applied Technology Management (ATM), internationally recognized experts in the field of environmental and coastal engineering to address all water-based regulatory permitting, design and construction documentation for the reconstruction of the marina basin including; Wet Slips, Dry Stack storage, fuel dock upgrades, boat ramp reconstruction, bulkhead replacement and associated necessary infrastructure.

The schedule to accomplish these tasks has been very aggressive in order to meet our patron's wishes. State Marina Permit applications were submitted April 22nd so that we will be able to bid, award and begin construction by October 2003. The window for dredging is limited to September through December and we must be able to accommodate our customers by April 2004. Corps of Engineers permit application was submitted May 7, 2003. Coastal Zone Consistency Statement was submitted May 7, 2003.

In addition to the assistance from our consultants, an in-house committee comprised of a staff engineer, architect, revenue manager, marina manager, construction project managers and Parks section managers meet weekly to review the progress of construction planning, develop policies for and evaluate the proposed operational issues.

Staff have also toured privately run facilities to ascertain the most effective and efficient management principles, maintenance and operation procedures and customer service practices utilized by these businesses.

Preliminary plans were submitted to and reviewed by the Joint Permit Processing Committee on December 19, 2002. This a group of regulatory officials representing; the Corps of Engineers, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Fish and Wildlife Division, the State Historic Preservation Office, the State Water Resources Division specifically Wetlands and Subaqueous land permitting personnel. Based on that review, plans have been modified and permit applications have been submitted as noted above.

Overnight Accommodations Planning, Design, Construction:

The Division is conducting all planning, design and construction management for the various overnight accommodations and architectural building modifications in-house.

The twelve cottages will be constructed along the inlet in time for the 2004 season. Advertisement for bids for this cottage complex began on May 7th, construction is scheduled to be complete by April, 2004.

The improvements to the campground should be completed by the 2005 season. Scheduling of this activity is dependent on the final alignment and design for the replacement bridge over the Indian River Inlet. DNREC and DelDOT are working cooperatively to ensure neither party is negatively impacted, but rather synergistically enhanced.

We have had very successful experiences with the various overnight accommodations opportunities we offer at other parks; camping (both tent and RV), cabins and yurts at Lums Pond, Killens Pond, Trap Pond, Cape Henlopen and other areas within Delaware Seashore State Park.

Please recall that although these improvements are funded via federal Land and Water Conservation Funds, all net revenue generated (for a period of eight years) at these facilities will be utilized to fund marina improvements and/or pay back the loan from the Endowment Fund.

List of Plans:

Project Description
Overall Site Development Plan
2004 Boating Season
2005 Boating Season
2006 Boating Season
2007 Boating Season
Cottages Site Plan
Cottages Marketing Display


Gusset and Dock Repairs
• Before repairs – 2 photos
• After repairs – 2 photos

Pier 'C', deteriorated "gusset"

Status Report - May 2003 - Pier C, Deteriorated Gusset (click for full size picture)...

Close-up of deteriorated "gusset"

Status Report - May 2003 - Pier C, Deteriorated Gusset, Close-up (click for full size picture)...

Pier 'A': Example of completed ‘gusset’ repair

Status Report - May 2003 - Pier A, Gusset Repair (click for full size picture)...

Pier 'A': Example of completed ‘gusset’ and dock repair

Status Report - May 2003 - Pier A, Gusset and Dock Repair (click for full size picture)...


Bulkhead and Sidewalk Repairs
• Before repairs – 3 photos
• After repairs – 3 photos
• Aerial photos – Nov. 1996 & Feb. 2003

Illustration of sidewalk settlement: Note how land side is dropped

Status Report - May 2003 - Sidewalk Settlement (click for full size picture)...

Illustration of undermining sidewalk caused by fill material leaching through holes in bulkhead and repairs in progress

Status Report - May 2003 - Sidewalk Cutaway and Repair in Progress (click for full size picture)...

Close-up of ‘sinkhole’ created by leaching of fill through holes in bulkhead

Status Report - May 2003 - Sidewalk Sinkhole (click for full size picture)...

New Sidewalk under construction: Note separation from bulkhead preventing users from encountering ‘sinkholes’

Status Report - May 2003 - New Sidewalk Under Construction (click for full size picture)...

Completed Sidewalk: North of Operations Building

Status Report - May 2003 - New Sidewalk Completed North of Operations Building (click for full size picture)...

Completed Sidewalk: South of Operations Building

Status Report - May 2003 - New Sidewalk Completed South of Operations Building (click for full size picture)...

Indian River Inlet Marina November 1996 Aerial View

Status Report - May 2003 - Aerial View - Nov. 1996 (click for medium size picture)...

MEDIUM (246 KB) • LARGE (393 KB)

Indian River Inlet Marina February 2003 Aerial View

Status Report - May 2003 - Aerial View - Feb. 2003 (click for medium size picture)...

MEDIUM (218 KB) • LARGE (2.0 MB)
Note: Sidewalk relocated from bulkhead to edge of parking.


Please contact with any technical problems, comments, suggestions, or questions.

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Site updated 5/30/2006.