Herring Cove Beach Parking Lot to Get Partial Repairs for Summer Season

Herring Cove Erosion April 2016

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Recent damage at Herring Cove Beach Parking Lot

PROVINCETOWN –  The Cape Cod National Seashore will make limited repairs to the storm-battered Herring Cove Beach parking lot in Provincetown for the upcoming beach season.

Superintendent George Price said it would cost $1.3 million to make full repairs that may last just one year.

Instead, they will spend about $300,000 to repair sections of the lot that were ripped apart by wave action this past winter.

“The damage has caught up with the project,” said Price.

The repaired beach will have capacity for 130 cars, down from 208 when the lot is fully open. It will also become one-way traffic only, with vehicles entering at the gatehouse and exiting at the other end of the lot.

“The wave action really did a number to the Herring Cove north parking lot, to the point where just to patch it for just this summer is $1.3 million,” Price said.

In the long-term, a $5.4 million dollar project that has already been approved by the Department of the Interior will raise move the entire lot back 150 feet.

The asphalt from the old lot will be removed to allow for the natural formation of the beach.

“The tough news is, we’re going to fill up quicker each heavy beach day in July and August than usual, but at least we’ll have access and have it open,” said Price

The damaged lot is actually the remnants of a tour road built by the state in the 1950’s, before the area was taken over by the National Park Service.

Coastal experts say that road prevented the beach and dune from taking its natural shape over the decades.

Price said repairs made to the lot in recent years just postponed the inevitable.

“With the $300,000, we’re going to clean up the macadum that’s on the beach, we’re going to salvage as many parking spaces as we can and the we’re going to safely barrier off the other area, so the entire area is not going to be fixed,” said Price.

The new lot is expected to have a lifespan of 50 years before it’s endangered by erosion again. Herring Cove Beach and the area surrounding it was actually a harbor in the early 1800’s.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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