Officials Break Ground on Herring Cove Beach Parking Lot Construction

Herring Cove Beach Parking Lot Construction

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PROVINCETOWN – An epicenter of summer tourism on Cape Cod is finally getting a much needed face lift.

Congressman Bill Keating (D-MA 9th District) and Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent Brian Carlstrom joined local elected officials and area residents on Wednesday for the groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the Herring Cove North Lot construction project.

The Herring Cove North Parking Lot suffered extensive damage during the 2011-2012 winter season. That damage has worsened every year since as erosion and storms have continued to wash away most of the parking lot and revetment.

The damage has led to the need to relocate and replace the lot in a sustainable manner that will reestablish a natural shoreline.

Congressman Keating described the project as a “win-win situation.”

“This is a win for the town because it’s such an important site for cultural events and concerts. It’s a win for our whole region and the Commonwealth because this brings in important tourism and dollars to our region. It’s a win for so many people to come here, the millions of people that come here, including the disabled and never have the chance to come and view this beautiful view, unless there was a site here,” Keating explained.

“It’s also a win for taxpayers. It’s $3.4 million now, so it sounds like a lot of money. But, that will be money that will be invested and saved so we don’t have to keep repairing this year after year after year.”

Herring Cove Beach is the most popular of the national seashore’s six beaches, with approximately 347,228 visitors in 2018.

The project will move the parking lot 200 feet inland to balance three objectives: relocate all structures to account for projected future erosion, sea level rise, coastal flooding during storms, and long-term sustainability; restore natural systems to the greatest extent possible; and to retain the Herring Cove experience its visitors are accustomed to.

The parking lot will also be raised up five feet to an elevation of 15 feet, with four paths to the beach on access mats. All 208 existing parking spaces will be retained.

Plans call for the removal and replacement of 2,400 linear feet of parking lot, the relocation of a half-mile stretch of Province Lands Road, a reconfigured entrance and upgrade fee booth, a new vault toilet at the north end of the lot, and improved signage and pavement markings.

A full width bicycle lane connecting the Province Lands Bicycle Path with the Moors Road bicycle lanes is also expected.

The remains of the asphalt and revetment from the original lot will be removed and all disturbed areas will be revegetated with native plants and plants saved from the project.

Several public meetings and presentations were held by the National Park Service (NPS) and Center for Coastal Studies over the past few years to discuss the need for major action regarding the unstable nature of the beach. An environmental analysis was completed in 2014.

Funding for the project came from the National Park Service Line Item Construction program.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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