By Stephen Rochette, USACEDecember 7, 2011
CAPE HENLOPEN, Del. (Dec. 7, 2011) -- The Harbor of Refuge Breakwater and its historic lighthouse off Cape Henlopen, Del. are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This year, the breakwater received much needed repairs through a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District project.
The project involved placing 91 capstones, each weighing approximately 10 tons, and filling in voids along the breakwater with other stones and pouring concrete.
A severe nor'easter storm damaged the Harbor of Refuge breakwater, which compromised part of the lighthouse's foundation. The District obtained repair funds through the Flood Control & Coastal Emergency program.
"It took significant coordination to get the project funded," said Project Manager Charlie Myers. "The breakwater certainly needed these repairs and the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation was very happy with the results."
Reilly Construction Inc. served as the prime contractor for the $2.62 million project while R.E. Pierson Construction Co. completed much of the stone work. The project team began work in July of 2011 and finished in late Nov.
Myers said weather, tides and then-tropical storms Irene and Lee proved challenging to the project's schedule. Stones for the project were quarried in Pennsylvania, barged to the site and placed by crane.
"Chuck Sutphen and the Engineering Team did a great job ensuring we received quality stones for the project," said Myers.
The Harbor of Refuge breakwater was constructed by USACE between 1897 and 1901 and repaired numerous times throughout its history. The historic, cast-iron lighthouse was constructed in 1926, replacing a previous lighthouse.