MARGATE – Whether you call it the “Margate Stone” or the “White Rock,” the iconic piece of concrete that has been an attraction for children playing on the beach will soon disappear.
According to city officials, contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the drainage pipe installation on the beach, will be asked to demolish the concrete structure and cart it away.
Generations of Margate children and visitors to the resort town have climbed the rock while their parents sunned themselves on the beach. It is located on the beach on the landward side of the new dune at the foot of Douglas Avenue.
According to Margate historian Frank Tiemann, the “rock” is a remnant of an old seawall.
The city must formally request the removal in a letter to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
“Getting rid of that rock would be great,” Commissioner John Amodeo said.
Contractors indicated the structure could be completely removed or demolished to 3 feet below grade, Amodeo said.
“We asked them to remove the structure while they have machinery on the beach,” Margate engineer Ed Walberg of Remington, Vernick and Walberg said.
The announcement was made during the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18 when commissioners discussed the status of the ongoing beach project, where the last of five 48-inch stormwater outfall pipes are being installed before the summer season.
Walberg also said his firm is currently designing a beach bulkhead opening system that will provide vehicle and handicapped accessibility on the beach at several locations. The projects could be funded though the beach project and with county funding, Walberg said.
It is one of several bulkhead projects the city is creating to increase handicapped accessibility.
“Theoretically, in a year or two, we can have as many as six more handicapped openings,” Walberg said.
A bollard system with a chain to block unauthorized vehicular traffic would allow emergency vehicles to access the beach quickly during the summer season. A planking system would close off the bulkhead in the off-season and prevent sand from blowing onto the street, Walberg said.