Sandwich Officials Close Access to Town Neck and Boardwalk Due to Storm Damage

SANDWICH – Town officials have closed public access to Town Neck Beach and the Sandwich Boardwalk until further notice following last week’s storm.

Town Manager Bud Dunham said an initial assessment of the damage shows an estimated loss of 12 to 15 feet of solid dune.

“With beach grass plantings on top they help hold things the best they could but there is just like a vertical drop now,” Dunham said.

The height of the most recent dune restoration has been retained but the storm left a completely sheared off dune face.

A $3 million nourishment project which added over 100,000 cubic yards of material on Town Neck dredged from the Cape Cod Canal channel was completed in 2016.

Dunham said there also appears to be a breach of the dune system near the Old Harbor entrance.

“It’s on the low-lying area and it’s close to the where the Old Harbor entrance is,” Dunham said. “It’s certainly nowhere near as significant as a couple years ago with the total breakthrough that completely choked off the whole marsh system there.”

Dunham said a couple of different groups are going out to measure how much of the dune was actually lost.

All of the major walkover stairs from the Town Neck Beach parking lot to the beach have been destroyed.

The Sandwich Boardwalk also suffered substantial structural damage.

“It had some twists and turns to it previously, but it was structurally okay and it’s a lot worse than it was,” Dunham said. “We’ve closed the boardwalk and the parking lot because it just doesn’t look safe.”

The area of the boardwalk which appears to have suffered the most damage is the long, flat section headed from the boardwalk parking lot to Town Neck.

Dunham said all of the fencing installed to keep the public off the dunes and out of the bird habitat were also completely destroyed.

“As bad as the damage was, it could have been much worse,” Dunham said.

A total assessment of the damage has not been completed yet and Dunham said the biggest fear is how many more storms will batter the area through the end of season.

“Being a municipal government we’ll have to go out to bid to get it fixed,” he said. “It’s not something we can do quickly.”

Dunham said generally there is enough time to make repairs before the summer season.


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