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Delaware State Parks Online

Delaware State Parks Online

Delaware State Parks Online

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 2004

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

August 24, 2004

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

2003 Aerial Photo (Prior to Phase I Renovation)

MEDIUM (218 KB) • LARGE (2.0 MB)

• 1970: Indian River Marina/Burtons Island purchased by State
• 1980-81: First major renovation (anticipated lifespan; 15 years)
• 1988: Added charter docks and additional recreational slips

In 1996 the Division of Parks contracted with Applied Technology &  Management (ATM) to conduct an engineering study and develop recommendations for reconstruction

• 1996: Engineering study/recommended reconstruction plan completed
• 1996,97,98,99: Unsuccessful request for Bond Bill funding to implement reconstruction plan
• 2000,2001: Bond Bill Committee directed Parks to evaluate and investigate Public/Private partnership
• Goal: State develop master plan, private partner implement publicly accepted plan

2002 Site Plan

• 2002: Developed financing plan to utilize a portion of the 21st Century Parks Endowment Fund for capital investment

The Parks Endowment, with a value of $15 Million was created from a federal court settlement requiring the State of New York to pay the State of Delaware liquidated assets from bankrupt New York-based companies that were incorporated in Delaware. Parks benefit from the interest generated on the endowment investments.

Key point: Reconstruction funds did not come from State taxes or the General Assembly but rather was borrowed from an existing endowment.

• Financing Parameters: Borrow capital funds from Endowment, repay loan (with interest it would have generated) within 20 years.
• June 2002: General Assembly directed Parks to implement State Plan

• Safety Improvements 2003: Implemented safety improvements at marina while completing bidding documents for reconstruction

Deteriorated deck on floating docks

Aluminum plate reinforced dock repair

Sinkholes caused by fill material leaching through holes in bulkhead

New sidewalk: separation from bulkhead prevents users from encountering ‘sinkholes’

Public meetings were held throughout 2002 and 2003 to inform the public and accept input for final design plans.

• Repair/upgrade floating docks
• Dredge marina basin
• Upgrade electric service on docks

This plan will be implemented/phased over a four-year period

Marina reconstruction contract signing, September 2003: (from left to right) Larry Kuhn, Kuhn Construction, Governor Ruth Ann Minner, DNREC Secretary John Hughes, Parks Director Charles Salkin

Floating Docks

September 2003...

Docks being demolished


Reason docks are being removed


Basin with south side docks removed

Floating dock components being delivered

Assembly of floating docks

Assembly is similar to jigsaw puzzle

Icing of the marina basin

Work continues in the cold


Completed construction of floating docks on southern half of basin


Existing floating docks on north half of basin, to be replaced for 2005 season



Mid-September, dredging near Burtons Island while waiting for removal of old docks

New Year's Eve 2003, dredging continues

Photo of outflow pipe from dredge to confined disposal facility (spoils area)

After Phase I dredging is completed, dredge spoils dewater for months

Electric Upgrades...


Floating dock mounted substations for electric on docks

Bracing against the cold, electric gets installed

Electric cables are routed within dock structure

New distribution panels on shore

Boat Ramp...


Boat Ramp prior to Phase I construction

Demolished Ramp

Boat ramp under construction

Completed boat ramp (scheduled to open April 9, 2004; actually opened April 1, 2004)

Bulkhead Replacement


New steel sheet pile being placed in front of old, deteriorated wooden bulkhead

New bulkhead will eliminate sinkholes forming behind wall

Bulkhead being constructed

Heavy equipment necessary for this work

Finished bulkhead

Marine Services Area...

Stone base for concrete slab

Several tons of steel reinforcing used to strengthen slab

Completed marine services area

Incorporated in the marine service area is a state-of-the-art oil/water separator to provide initial treatment of all runoff from work areas prior to entering bio-filtration swales and stormwater settling ponds. This is one of many key components that will assist in ensuring Indian River Inlet Marina will be the first marina in the state to be certified as a CLEAN MARINA.

Travel Lift...

New 50-ton travel lift

Concrete piling going in to support travel lift piers

Forming and reinforcing for travel lift piers

Finished travel lift piers (view from the water)

Completed travel lift piers (view from the land)


Paving at new entrance

Paving near boat ramp

Finished product at boat ramp overflow parking area


Open PDF (Updated April 4, 2003 - 415 KB) • Download FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Foundations going in

'Million dollar view'

Cottages springing from the ground, first-class year-round overnight accommodations

View of cottages from south side of inlet

Siding being installed

View from marina

Cottages 1 & 2 under construction

Cottage Complex

Cottages 5 & 6

Waterfront views

Cottage interior (view from loft)

Satellite TV and fireplace

Furnished kitchen

Relaxing inlet views from the porch

Successful Completion of Phase I Reconstruction, March 29, 2004

• Provide slipholders new floating docks on south half of basin
• Provide 7 feet of water in south half of basin at low tide

(as opposed to 3 feet formerly in places)
• Provide up to 100Amps of power at new 50 foot slips

New docks south half of basin

Marine Services area

We even painted the ground green to represent grass (actually, that’s hydroseed and mulch)


Fish cleaning building/commercial fishing berths

Starting to look more like a park every day

Looking north

Looking south

Goal realized!

Future Plans for 2005

• Replacement of floating docks (north half of basin)
• Complete dredging (north half of basin)
• Finish upgrade of electric
• Reconstruct floating fueling facility (charters will have in-slip fueling capability)
• Construct dry stack boat storage facility ("Dry stack" is similar to valet parking for a boat; slipholders call ahead to have their boat placed in the water, fueled, and ready to go. On return, the boat receives a fresh water rinse before being stored in the dry stack storage building. Inside storage is convenient and protects the investment by the boater, no UV light deterioration of fiberglass occurs and there is no need to protect boat hull with potentially polluting bottom paints.)

Open PDF (275 KB) • Download FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Photo of a similar dry stack building at another marina

Inside of building showing storage rack system

Future Plans for 2006

Renovate Operations Building, including:
• New restroom/showers for slipholders
• Ship’s store
• Upgraded administration facility

Open PDF (269 KB) • Download FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Future Plans for 2007

Renovate fish cleaning/sales building

Open PDF (274 KB) • Download FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader.

DelDOT’s replacement of Indian River Inlet Bridge
and what it means to the Park


Anticipated groundbreaking in October 2004

Bridge rendering (existing and proposed):
DelDot project anticipated to be completed by 2008

Bridge rendering (view from outside inlet looking west)

Pedestrian pathways:
Safe access from north to south of inlet

Pedestrian pathways:
Interpretive experience highlighting ecology and celestial navigation

Proposed North Side of Inlet Changes
(preliminary plan)

Due to DelDOT’s need to utilize the north side parking and camping areas during construction, DelDOT, in cooperation with Parks, will replace these amenities when the bridge is completed, estimated to be in 2008. Improvements include:
• Day-use parking area
• Two-point hookup campground
• New shower and laundry buildings
• New bathhouse with outside showers for use by fisherman and surfers
• Waterfront promenade and trail extending to Burton's Island.

This design has taken into consideration fishermen’s needs and provides them with continuous access to the shoreline, as it is today, while providing a separate path for walkers/bikers.

The Park Office will be relocated adjacent to the historic Life Saving Station, one and one-half miles north on Rt. 1. A small administrative facility/contact station will be built in this area.

This plan also provides new parking areas for the Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) and an additional parking area for fishermen.

Proposed South Side of Inlet Changes
(preliminary plan)

Improvements on the south side include:
• Relocation of County Road 50a, so it no longer splits the campground in half
• Improvements to some camp sites impacted by the construction
• Additional parking at the SEDA Beach Bathhouse lot (due to loss of some parking on north side)
• An informational kiosk will be constructed near the bathhouse explaining the bridge project
• DART bus stop will be installed for use by the campers.

Note: Campsites not shown are unaffected by proposed work.


To reserve a cottage call our reservation number: 1-877-98-PARKS

Still plenty of weekly rentals left!


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

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Site updated 5/30/2006.