Rockport DPW Removes Long Beach Stairs and Footbridge access

Long Beach, Nov. 10, 2022

This year, several of the stairs had to be dug out several feet for removal.

Sign of winter coming: Saratoga Creek footbridge severed access between Cape Hedge and Long Beach until spring returns.

Sand is covering the rip rap in November 2022, not as high as 2011, and deposited the entire stretch. Sand depth shifts on Long Beach. Read more here in an older post from 2017.

Seawall repair October 2022 Before | After

sugared dune grass and ice blasted following Friday’s winter storm #GloucesterMA

Feb. 5, 2022 Long Beach (Rockport and Gloucester, MA.) snapshots about 8am.

How much snow?

Stone and metal surfaces are ice blasted with a fresh snow dusting 1/2″ – 2″ between Long Beach and Good Harbor Beach. By daylight, the coastal rocky shoreline between the beaches would normally reveal a highway of wildlife tracks and drama. There were none today which means the rocks are thick slick coated. Instead it’s the natural surfaces- -grass, sand, brush– worn and riveted. When they’re not icy, wildlife favor those bare surfaces.

View out the windows- glazing is ice blasted

ice, ice railing | pics show metal, glass and stone vs. grass, sand, etc to give an idea of what’s out there

Want to identify local wildlife from winter tracks in the snow?

Wonderful children’s picture book

Let’s Go! Animal Tracks in the Snow! by Diane Polley with illustration by Marion Hall

and pocket guide by http://www.masswildlife.org

The Morning After- next day storm waves

The Long Beach walkway was dry this morning: Storm Teddy did not surge up and over the seawall. Light debris was deposited on nearly spotless Long Beach. Beautiful rollers were distant as the tide was heading out.

photos 9/23/2020- click to enlarge to full size

 

 

Spotted less than ten shorebirds, three species. These tiny birds are migrating from the arctic and landing to rest and refuel. Give them space if you see them! The few I spotted were flushed off.

A smile path helps wildlife. Walk around (or pause if you have the time)

 

Shorebird visitors hanging out together today (sanderlings, semipalmated sandpipers and semipalmated plovs). Easy to add a smile path when you spot them.

 

Below L-R: Sanderlings, semipalmated sandpipers, and semipalmated plover visiting 2020

 

Scenes of waves from Storm Teddy yesterday 9/22/2020 here

Happy Fourth! Flags and porches along the Long Beach boardwalk ‘Little Boulevard’

A ‘little boulevard’ – flags and porches, front cottages, Long Beach summer

and bonus red,white,blue thanks to glass fishing floats 

Motif Monday: 3 Long Beach cottages off season construction

Side by side photographs: BEFORE (April 2017) / DURING CONSTRUCTION on the 8s (October 2019)  Stay tuned for After.

88 Long Beach

temporary barrier at 88 Long Beach front row cottage property_ former structure cleared_October 7 2019 photograph©c ryan

68 Long Beach

Behind 28 Long Beach

construction behind 28 Long Beach front row cottage_Oct 2019 photograph©c ryan

 

 

Motif Monday: Signs of Summer Long Beach cottages

SANDY VIEW front row cottage names _Long Beach Gloucester Rockport Massachusetts_summer 2019 © c ryan

 

What’s in a name? For these front row cottages it’s the charm of Long Beach all the way. What would you use?

 

 

Compare with April 2017 see 74 Long Beach front row cottages in less than a minute  slowed down version “Coastal Living: Long Beach walk combines ocean view, front row cottages and beach” here

 

Long Beach seawall walkway construction continues – widening and extending path to Rockport end

In 2018 Rockport widened  much of the Long Beach seawall walkway beginning at the Gloucester side and stretching past the midpoint.  Recently crews began extending this project straight through to the end point on the Rockport side. The work is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.

Rocky explained it’s done in segments and moving right along.

Long Beach seawall walkway widening in process_20190607_© c ryan (3)

 

Long Beach seawall walkway widening in process_20190607_© c ryan.jpg

 

 

Besides this big project, the getting ready for summer bustle is in full swing. Annual staircase return? Check! Front row cottage work? Check! New patio and masonry work by the former hotel (photos 2018 vs 2019 below) where the stone patio was compromised, various yardwork and private deck repairs are visible along the promenade.

 

Winter repair is coming | new holes, cracks, and breaks along Long Beach seawall

separation_20190203_ Long Beach walkway Gloucester Rockport Mass© catherine ryan

Michael Cronin writes about upcoming seawall repairs_Gloucester Daily Times front page feb 2 2019

Town Begins to shore up Long Beach seawall, by Michael Cronin, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Long Beach view from Gloucester Mass side_BEFORE winter seawall repairs_more beach for staging this side of beach_20190203_© catherine ryan
JANUARY 2019 (BEFORE REPAIRS) Long Beach looking from Gloucester Mass side to Rockport- this edge of the beach has more tide to stage construction from. Construction crews will contend with tides as they did last year.

Plenty of prior GMG posts (search “Long Beach seawall”); here are a few:

REPAIRING LONG BEACH ROCKPORT MASS AFTER STORM DAMAGE|BUSY NEW ENGLAND DPW CREWS April 2018

Seawall damage coverage GMG post May 25, 2018

FILL RAKE AND ROLL- NEXT STEPS IN THE LONG BEACH SEAWALL STORM REPAIR June 2018

Fill rake and roll- next steps in the Long Beach seawall storm repair

What a stunner day for the next phase of the Long Beach seawall repair. They’re loading and raking in fill to level the walkway today. Roller still to come.

next phase in Long Beach seawall walkway repair_ that's a lot of fill_20180622_083235

speedy backing up

this way and that still to come

 

 

Long Beach cottage-side lane is widened for seawall repairs

Photos show the next stage in the seawall repair on the walkway (what the white spray paint meant). The promenade is two lanes: the ocean lane is a bit higher for now.  Hooray!~more staircases are passable.

cottage walkway widened Long Beach seawall Gloucester MA Rockport MA_20180613_173625 ©c ryan.jpg

Long Beach Gloucester Ma Rockport MA seawall repair_20180613_173241 ©c ryan

 

Long Beach status: sand creeps back, no stairs, more damage at seawall and walkway

Photo journal documenting rapid damage and repairs post trio of winter storms as of May 2018.

sunrise_ May 2018_flawed and beautiful Long Beach seawall promenade Gloucester Rockport Ma  ©c ryan.jpg

Sand

is creeping back, truly. (view looking across to Gloucester side) 

sand creeping back Long Beach Mass after winter storms May 16 2018 ©c ryan.jpg

(sand migrating back- view looking to Rockport– see 2017 post about  Long Beach annual shifting sands )

Sand migrates back center of Long Beach MA - even with winter storm erosion- 20180516- ©c Ryan.jpg

beach erosion was significant

Damage continues

Spring tides slam the Long Beach seawall.

photo: A tree tossed up like a toothpick atop the rip rap helps to illustrate the ocean’s twice daily whollops.

tree tossed up like toothpick_May 16 2018 Long Beach Mass-strong high tides twice daily ©c ryan.jpg

vulnerable spots clearly visible to the naked eye (I marked up two with red lines)

weak spots Long Beach seawall damage May 18 2018 _©c ryan.jpg

 

When the seawall opened up and heavy concrete sections balanced like hanging chads or individual playing cards, I was not surprised. The massive promenade had shown signs of strain.  Small fissures and tiny holes were noticeable before the winter storms accelerated its decline. Water finds a way in at high tides. The manmade wall is noticeably shifting and rumbling at a greater pace. Holes, cracks and breaks along the seawall expand, and new ones erupt. I can’t help conjuring up comparisons to Yellowstone’s boiling and unpredictable surface.  I imagine stakeholders are mapping details of their immediate landscape. Though beaten down, the promenade is walkable and sturdy. Tiny holes do expand rather alarmingly.

example –

and another (filled)- the cone eventually dropped beneath the path

Fissures

more photos (before-afters, repairs, boulder pyres, stairs or lack thereof, and nuisance popples) and videos of  seawall ramparts giant boulder shuffle

Continue reading “Long Beach status: sand creeps back, no stairs, more damage at seawall and walkway”

Sinkholes on seawall: storm damages Long Beach

Sunny morning inspection following April 17, 2018 spring storm. DPW crews were racing to assess before the next incoming high tide. Gloucester-Rockport, Mass. Long Beach seawall and stairs were hit hard yesterday including a collapse. “I’ve never seen an aerial bend in the middle before.” 

Sink hole at silver spray Morning low tide at Long Beach Gloucester Rockport Mass_ reveals damage from yesterday's spring storm _©c ryan april 17 2018 _ 072904 (5)

“Uneven surface- Pass at your own risk”

Morning low tide at Long Beach Gloucester Rockport Mass_ reveals damage from yesterday's spring storm _©c ryan april 17 2018 _ 072904 (9)

detritus new stairs at Gloucester MA Long Beach entrance- Morning low tide reveals damage from yesterday's spring storm _©c ryan april 17 2018 _ 072904 (2)

more photos (click to see full size)

Continue reading “Sinkholes on seawall: storm damages Long Beach”

Riley Nor’Easter morning after second high tide #GloucesterMA: coastal damage homes and Long Beach seawall

Riley took bites out of the Long Beach seawall, and ripped out decks and fences wherever last night’s raging tide rushed. Debris strewn roads include large timber rails and rocks.

Morning after Riley second tide sea wall damage Long Beach _20180303_075741 © C Ryan (13)

 

Long Beach MA: winter construction on front row cottages

Progress on some winter builds.

Crane at 142 Long Beach, front row cottage under construction, Jan 2018

IMG_20180128_145637

Long Beach _20180128_145550

BEFORE 142 Long Beach April 2017

 

4 Long Beach under reno, January 2018

 

BEFORE 4 Long Beach April 2017

Behind Longbeach Place

IMG_20180128_144100

At the back of Longbeach Place; and in the distance at the corner of Long Beach Road and Rockport Road

IMG_20180128_144231

 

Long Beach shifting sands and seawall: Rockport DPW targets nature and infrastructure

The other Singing Beach

As with Manchester Singing and other North Shore beaches, the white or “dry”  sand of Long Beach sings a musical sound as you scuff ahead. Lately though it’s whistling a shorter tune because there’s an astonishing loss of the dry grains.

Over the last 10 years,  so much sand has been washed away from Long Beach most every high tide hits the seawall. Boogie boarders need to truncate their wave rides else risk landing on the rip-rap.  It’s become a competitive sport to lay claim to some beach chair and towel real estate if you want a dry seat. On the plus side, low tide is great for beach soccer and tennis, long walks and runs. Bocce ball has replaced can jam and spikeball as the beach games of summer 2017.

Seasoned locals recall having to ‘trudge  a mile’ across dry sand before hitting wet sand and water. In my research I’ve seen historic visuals that support their claims.

Vista: Entrance from the Gloucester side of Long Beach

Historic photos and contemporary images –from 10 years ago– show a stretch of white sand like this one looking out from the Gloucester side of Long Beach to the Rockport side.

Long Beach

photocard showing the pedestrian walkway prior to the concrete boardwalk. Historic prints from ©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) show the damage after storm, 1931. See his GMG post and rodeo (ca. 1950)

fred bodin long beach after the storm

After the Storm, Long Beach, 1931   Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) “Printed from the original 5×7 inch film negative in my darkroom. Image #88657-134 (Long Beach looking toward Rockport)”

Fredrik D. Bodin Long Beach

Vista: Facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach

This next vintage postcard flips the view: facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach –looking back to glacial rocks we can match out today, a tide line that shows wet and dry sands, and the monumental Edgecliffe Hotel which welcomed thousands of summer visitors thanks to a hopping casino. The white sand evident in front of  the Edgecliffe bath houses (what is now Cape Ann Motor Inn) has plummeted since a 2012 February storm and vanished it seems, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not. It’s most evident where several feet of sand was cleaved off from the approach to the boardwalk.

EdgeCliffe Hotel and surf Long Beach Gloucester Mass postcard

 

Seasons of sand

I find the annual sand migration on Long Beach a fascinating natural mystery. It’s dramatic every year. Here are photos from this last year: fall (late Sept 2016), winter (December-  sand covers rip-rap), spring (April -after winter storms with alarming loss), and summer (today)

FALL

September 2016

 

WINTER

december 2016

 

SPRING April rip-rap uncovered, exposed. Climbing to the boardwalk is an exciting challenge for two boys I know (when the sand is filled in like the December photo it’s a short drop)

April Long Beach

IMG_20170410_150906 (1)

 

SUMMER July 14 sand is coming back though all boulders are not entirely submerged

IMG_20170714_103533

IMG_20170714_103222

 

Storms (namely February) strip the silky soft top sand away and expose the boulders strengthening the seawall. It’s easy to feel alarmed that the beach is disappearing. By summer, the sand fills back, though not always in the same spot or same quantity. Some rip-rap expanses remain exposed. Most is re-buried beneath feet of returning sand. New summer landmarks are revealed. One year it was a ribbon of nuisance pebbles the entire length of beach. The past two years we’ve loved “the August Shelf”. (Will it come again?)

This year there’s a wishbone river.

IMG_20170714_105940

 

“Apparently you do bring sand to the beach, according to the selectmen appointed committee ascribed with repairing the Long Beach seawall, which could cost up to $25 million.” 

In case you missed the Gloucester Daily Times article “Rockport Looks to Fix Long Beach Sea Wall” by Mary Markos, I’ve added the link here. They hope to finish by 2025. I look forward to learning more and reading about it. If extra sand is brought back will high tide continue to hit the seawall? (In the past it could hit the wall or blast over in storms, but dry sand remained lining the wall.) Will the new wall occupy the same general footprint? Will it be higher? Thicker?

IMG_20170711_102547