USA: Corps Confirms Contract for Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach Projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District has awarded a $25.6 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., to place approximately 2.5 million cubic yards of sand in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach as part of an emergency shore protection project which repairs and restores previously constructed beach erosion control and storm damage reduction projects throughout the region affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The contract is the first of four that will be awarded this year for restoration of the entire Sea Bright to Manasquan project area, with an estimated 8 million cubic yards of sand to be placed to restore the entire project area.
The previously constructed beach erosion control and storm risk reduction project was constructed in the 1990s and completed in 2001 in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The roughly 2.5 million cubic yards of sand being placed in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach through this first contract will be dredged from a previously identified offshore borrow area.
The subsequent three contracts include Belmar to Manasquan, Long Branch, and Asbury Park to Avon consisting of a total placement of roughly up to 6 million cubic yards. Sand figures for future contracts are subject to change as engineer and design work continues and as work on the beach begins.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is excited to award this contract for emergency beach replenishment in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach which will mitigate the impacts of future storms big and small,” said New York District Commander Col. Paul E. Owen. “This contract is the first of four that will restore beaches from Sea Bright to Manasquan and we hope that in addition to providing beach erosion control and storm risk reduction that this work also helps the region heal by restoring an important and central element to these coastal communities.”
Everything the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does must be tied to a statutory authority and the Sea Bright to Manasquan work is the result of two statutory authorities, one previously existing and one new since Hurricane Sandy.
Through the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies Act, PL 84-99, the Corps of Engineers is authorized to repair previously constructed projects after a large event like Hurricane Sandy. Put simply, this pre-existing authority allows the Corps to return the project area to pre-storm conditions. Through this legal authority, the Corps of Engineers has been authorized to replace approximately 5 million cubic yards of sand lost from the entire Sea Bright to Manasquan project area during Hurricane Sandy.
Through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (the Sandy Relief Bill, or PL 113-2), the Corps of Engineers was further authorized to restore previously constructed projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy to their original design profile. Through this legal authority, the Corps of Engineers was authorized and received funding to place the additional millions of cubic yards of sand from Sea Bright to Manasquan to restore the project area to its original design template.
Construction work on the beach for the first contract will likely begin by the end of July and be completed in the winter.
The remaining contracts that make up the project area are slated to be awarded throughout the summer and early fall.
While restoration work is going on, there will likely be rolling closures of roughly 1000 foot wide sections of the beach where construction work is active, but the Corps of Engineers will make efforts to limit the impacts of the ongoing work on recreation without compromising public safety. Closures will be closely coordinated with local municipalities and the State of New Jersey.
“These kinds of beach restoration projects involve large pipes and heavy machinery and we must ensure we carry out the work in a safe and responsible manner that limits risks to the public, which means there will have to be limited beach closures in small sections,” Owen said. “We will work with our local and State partners to coordinate the closures and limit the impacts to recreation, but we need to balance that with the importance of providing increased coastal storm risk reduction to the community to help reduce the risk from future storms.”
The coastal restoration work in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach as well as the larger Sea Bright to Manasquan project area is part of a larger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers effort throughout the northeastern United States to place more than 26 million cubic yards of sand to restore coastal storm risk reduction projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Roughly 16 million cubic yards of that is being placed at coastal storm risk reduction projects throughout the state of New Jersey, including work south of Manasquan Inlet being managed by the Philadelphia District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Press Release, June 23, 2013