A major repair project of the north jetty at Barnegat Inlet, which creates a more resilient navigational channel and safeguards the southern tip of state-owned Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, is now complete, announced the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Philadelphia District awarded a $7.6 million contract for the project earlier this year and work began in May. The completed work, performed by Agate Construction Company of Clermont in Cape May County, stabilized approximately 740 feet of jetty stones on the north side of the inlet, which was battered by Superstorm Sandy.
“Completion of this important project to deal with severe damage caused by Superstorm Sandy has created a resilient shoreline to better protect the inlet from future storms,” said Commissioner Martin.
“Despite working in difficult conditions in Barnegat Inlet, our contractor was able to complete the project on schedule,” said USACE Project Engineer Gavin Kaiser.
Superstorm Sandy caused the displacement of jetty stones along the north jetty that borders Island Beach State Park’s shoreline. The storm-created openings between the jetty stones, allowing an intruding flow of sand and water which, if unabated, could have caused future shoaling in Barnegat Inlet and erosion at the southern-most beach area of Island Beach State Park.
The repair project, funded through the Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, involved rebuilding the cross-section of the jetty, using existing capstone, supplemented with additional capstone, corestone and stone-filled mattresses.
With the completion of the project, fishing access to the Barnegat Inlet jetty is now permitted. A line of dune fence has been installed parallel to the jetty, with access openings every 50 feet to allow easy and equitable access for all visitors.
The Barnegat Inlet north jetty was first constructed in 1940 and raised in elevation in 1974. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredged the inlet last July. The inlet requires dredging to provide a safe and reliable navigation channel for the U.S. Coast Guard and a large fishing fleet consisting of full-time commercial, charter and recreational vessels.
Shaped by storms and tides, Island Beach State Park is a narrow barrier island stretching for 10 miles between the ocean and Barnegat Bay. It is one of New Jersey’s last significant remnants of a barrier island ecosystem and is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier beaches on the north Atlantic coast.