USACE: Progress Continues on Coastline Restoration

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to make steady progress on its projects authorized and funded after Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012.

Together with its federal, state, local and industry partners, the Army Corps’ North Atlantic Division, which extends from Virginia to Maine, has completed 66 coastal storm damage risk reduction projects, including repairs on 46 Sandy-damaged navigation channels and structures and restoration of 20 engineered beach projects along the coast.

Five beach restoration projects and 36 projects to repair navigation channels and structures are currently underway. Work also continues on 17 flood and storm damage reduction studies, all of which are 100 percent federally funded.

Feasibility cost-sharing agreements have been executed for 15 of these studies, which will lead to construction of new coastal storm damage risk reduction projects. Following its expected completion in mid November, one New Jersey study will become a new construction project.

Earlier this year, work began on the first of 17 ‘authorized but not yet constructed’ projects that will reduce storm damage risk to areas that were vulnerable when Hurricane Sandy hit. These projects, which would complement the previously constructed beach restoration projects, were designed and congressionally authorized prior to Sandy but never completed due a lack of funding or easements, or both.

Of the 17 projects in the North Atlantic Division, 9 project partnership agreements have been executed and 3 contracts have been awarded. Substantial completion of these projects is anticipated during the summer of 2015.

Since the passage of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the Army Corps has also focused on reducing the risk of future coastal storm damage to Atlantic Coast communities. In the 20 months since federal funds were appropriated, the Corps has placed approximately 25 million cubic yards of sand – enough to fill MetLife Stadium12.5 times – on identified beaches in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia to restore dunes and berms to their authorized specifications.

The beach restoration efforts in all states are expected to be completed by this fall. The repair of navigation channels and structures, which began in February 2013, is scheduled for completion by fall 2015.

Consistent with the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the Army Corps is collaborating with federal, state, local and tribal partners on a North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study to assess the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Comprehensive Study will apply a regional framework to reducing risk for vulnerable coastal populations, and is scheduled for submission to Congress in January 2015.

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