delcity01 DELAWARE CITY WATERFRONT REVITALIZATION 
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Client: Delaware City

Challenge
Delaware City, a community rich in maritime history, is situated along the bank of the Delaware River, at the eastern terminus of the original Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Delaware City had a vision to realize the economic and aesthetic potential of its historic waterfront. The Old Lock, Boat Launch, and Sterling’s Hotel became the delcity02framework for proposed rehabilitation as well as the revitalization of a canal promenade.

Solution
Duffield Associates’ engineers assisted Delaware City in prioritizing infrastructure needs and helped prepare and obtain grants for funding. Other key project features included improved drainage, brick-paved pedestrian walkways with lighting and benches, and canal overlooks.
Key design elements for this project included:

  • During the Canal Promenade design, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was preparing to replace a bulkhead adjacent to Delaware City’s bulkhead. Coordination initiated by our engineers with the USACE facilitated concurrent design and construction. As a result of this collaboration with the USACE, a cost-effective and visually similar design was developed into both projects that were approved by the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office.
  • Traffic-calming techniques were designed into new brick-paved crosswalks to provide safe pedestrian access across the town’s Main Street to the newly created park.
  • Park improvements were designed as both a bikeway and greenway.
  • The entrance to the DNREC boat launch was transformed into a “Grand Alley.”
  • Lighted pedestrian access to the City’s adjacent floating docks was designed to meet the City’s Architectural Accessibility Board requirements.
  • The first phase of a modernized floodwall was constructed atop the new bulkhead to provide 100 year flood protection for the City’s historic and commercial districts.

The project was completed on-time and under budget. As a result of the financial investment, Delaware City is experiencing an economic resurgence and an increased interest in renovations to other historic and commercial structures.

This project was awarded the Consulting Engineers Council of Delaware’s Conceptor Award for Engineering Excellence.