, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 15, 2013

Building back the beach

Salisbury works to repair storm damage, replenish shore


Over the past week, DCR engineers and officials have been on Salisbury Beach assessing the damage, securing dangerous areas and formulating a plan to remove about four dozen pilings that were exposed on the beach beyond Broadway as a result of the eroision.

On Wednesday, DCR Deputy Commissioner of Operations Jack Murray visited Salisbury Beach as his agency continued working with DEP to make the summer recreation spot safe for visitors and residents alike.

Murray said that while nature can be blamed for scouring out the shore during the recent storm, nature also has already begun to repair the damage it caused.

“We really want to remove all the pilings that were exposed and we got a permit to do that,” Murray said Wednesday.

Last Saturday, there were 48 pilings, some exposed by as much as 4 feet. As of Wednesday, 32 had been covered up with sand again.

Although hidden again, DCR engineers mapped their placement and on Wednesday, about 18 old and jagged wooden pilings, some from old beachside structures like the Frolics, were pulled out. More were removed yesterday.

Meanwhile, at Surfside 5, which has been pounded by this winter’s storms, crews from SPS New England yesterday were removing pilings under the deck and replacing them. An emergency certificate was granted for the work.

The town’s Public Works Department was also at work at the beach center yesterday, with crews trying to clean up the huge piles of debris that had washed up during the storm as well as broken pieces of pavement from the road abutting the beach.

DPW Director Don Levesque said he was pleased to see some sand washing back along the lower shores of the beach. But Levesque believes sand still needs to be brought in to restore the eroded dune system along the beach center and parts of the northern stretch of beach.

Concrete barriers are still up along the center’s beachfront area as a safety measure since the storm destroyed the dunes completely, causing a precipitous drop down to the beach. The public is being advised to stay off the beach, and especially what’s left of the dunes.

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