SALISBURY — After hundreds of thousands of dollars of state funds, thousands of cubic yards of sand and cooperation from numerous involved parties, the Salisbury Beach renourishment project is complete, leaving hope that the work will fortify dunes against future nor’easters that devastated the beach in the past.
State crews were finishing up the project yesterday, according to Salisbury conservation agent Michelle Rowden, who has guided the project since its planning stages.
“The nourishment project is over,” she said. “(Yesterday) they were putting the finishing touches to the access ways, in particular access way number seven, and they’re still working on putting up the snow fencing. But the majority of the work is done.”
Truckloads of sand arrived over the past two weeks, bringing in about 10,000 cubic yard of sand costing $310,000 and creating 1,674 linear feet of barrier dunes from access ways 6 and 7, according to William Hickey, the spokesman for the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns Salisbury Beach.
Sumco Eco Contracting of Salem began by removing damaged snow fencing and posts, according to Hickey, then removed old fencing before placing sand along the project creating the barrier dune. The installation of new snow fencing on the restored dune system is being completed currently. In the fall, DCR will plant dune grass along the area. Both snow fencing and dune grass help prevent wind and rain from eroding dunes.
The project was necessary after damage done to dunes by a series of storms that scoured out the beach in January, February and March of 2013. Back-to-back storms ravaged the sacrificial dune system. and damaged private property as well.
Last spring, DCR replenished some stricken areas with 15,000 cubic yards of sand harvested from the nearby sand bar, enlarged due to erosion elsewhere. But the sand wasn’t enough to restore vulnerable homes between beach access ways 6 and 7.