Corps Completes Final Emergency Beach Repair
On December 21, with the completion of a project in Westhampton, NY, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Division finished its last of 25 emergency beach repair projects authorized after Hurricane Sandy.
This effort, funded under the Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FC&CE) program, served to repair and restore coastal storm risk management projects previously built by the Corps that were severely impacted by the storm.
Comprising the largest emergency repair and restoration effort in USACE history, the 25 FC&CE-funded projects received 26 million cubic yards of sand – enough to fill MetLife Stadium 13 times. Starting in February of 2013, sand was trucked in or pumped onto beaches from offshore to build elevated berms, repair, restore and fortify shorelines, and to help mitigate erosion. By April of 2014, 75 percent of the projects were already complete.
Repairs to levees, sea walls, and a tide gate also increased coastal protection and resilience from future storm damage.
The 25 FC&CE projects are a fraction of more than 150 Division projects and studies authorized and funded after Hurricane Sandy, which include the repair of Sandy-damaged navigation channels and structures, the construction of 19 new federally sponsored engineered beaches, and 17 flood and storm damage risk management studies along the Northeast coast.
“A great amount of work has been accomplished, but, together with our partners, we will not be satisfied until we have completed all of our projects to lower coastal storm damage risks along the Atlantic Coast,” said Joseph Forcina, Chief of the Sandy Coastal Management Division, which is the NAD organization dedicated to overseeing these projects. “This is a significant effort, requiring extensive engineering analysis, development of drawings, acquisition of real estate, and selection of appropriate contractors to undertake this specialized work.”
The 25 projects were accomplished through a number of contracts executed by the Division’s New England, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk districts. Sand was obtained from a variety of sources, including from navigation channels and offshore borrow areas.
Of the 26 million cubic yards of sand placed, the vast majority (22.31 million cubic yards) was placed in New York and New Jersey.
In New York, more than 6.6 million cubic yards of sand was placed, with about 3.4 million cubic yards placed along Rockaway Beach in Queens and more than 600,000 cubic yards placed on Coney Island in Brooklyn.
In New Jersey, about 16 million cubic yards was placed along the coast, with about 8 million cubic yards placed from Sea Bright to Manasquan.
The entire effort totaled more than $455 million and was 100 percent federally funded.
“This has really been a team effort,” said Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, the division’s commanding general. “And we will continue to work with our stakeholders and partners to maintain that sense of urgency throughout the remainder of our program.”
In addition to future navigation channel and structure repair projects and coastal storm risk management construction projects and studies, the remainder of the Division’s program also includes the submission in late January 2015 of a report that provides recommendations to address flood risk to vulnerable coastal populations.
This report, called the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, is the result of two years of collaboration with key stakeholders including federal, state, regional, and local governments, as well as NGOs, tribes, and academia.