16 Jan Erosion Causes Provincetown Massachusetts To Upgrade Their Beach Parking Lot
Erosion poses a significant threat to the structures humanity has built and established. From the rapid destruction of mud and landslides to simple wear-and-tear of decades of runoff, it can be hard to slow Mother Nature’s enduring power. That being said, many industries and technologies have cropped up to do their best: retaining walls, abatement protection, channel lining — all of these were invented to bolster earth retention and stabilize the ground to protect people and buildings from the devastation caused by the slippery combination of earth and gravity.
Provincetown Massachusetts is currently in the middle of a project aimed at doing just that. Herring Cove Beach had experienced rapid erosion in the last few years; its waterfront parking lot has taken the brunt of the damage as the past decade saw winter storms rip open the pavement, coat the area in sand, and even loosen a sea wall. Despite spending $300,000 to $500,000 annually to repair the eroded concrete lot, residents know they’re treating the symptoms, not the cause. Since the beach is a popular tourist attraction, many are ready to find a more permanent solution.
“Many visitors start their trip to Provincetown spending the day at the beach, and then later spending time in town,” said Provincetown Tourism Director Anthony Fuccillio to The Cape Cod Times. “The latter part of the day in Provincetown is negatively affected if the beach parking isn’t available.”
Records indicate that the beach visitor number has dropped in recent years, from approximately 850,000 visitors a year to the mid-500,000 range. Many fervently believe that the degrading infrastructure and poor parking lot conditions are negatively impacting the town’s economy. Since earth retaining methods have been proven to alleviate the $750 million spent annually to repair shallow landslides, residents were hoping the reconstruction project would bring more people to the region.
The Cape Cod National Seashore began the $3.3 million reconstruction project focused on earth retention in mid-October 2018, but, unfortunately, the plans needed to be revised as they were originally developed five years earlier — the 50-year lifespan has since dropped to 20, and efforts have been focused on moving the lot farther inland to ensure the best protection from erosion.