Reconstruction of a two-mile stretch of severely eroded shoreline along the Delaware River in Salem County has been completed, making it the second post-Superstorm Sandy beach project in New Jersey to be fully executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
The restoration of Oakwood Beach in Elsinboro was completed last week by the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, which was contracted by USACE for the project. It is one of seven major coastal and flood projects statewide, conducted by USACE in coordination with the DEP, at a cost of more than $1 billion for overall coastal protection.
“Rebuilding our beaches and providing maximum protection for our coastal communities continues to be a top priority for the Christie Administration,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said. “We are thankful for the expeditious work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on and its contractor on this project and we look forward to our continued progress to building a full, statewide coastal protection system.”
The $9.9 million project at Oakwood Beach, which is located about eight miles southwest of the city of Salem, includes a 50-foot-wide berm at an elevation of about six feet. Some 346,000 cubic yards of sand from a borrow area in the Delaware River was pumped onto the beach.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DEP have an agreement in place to periodically replenish the beach over a span of 50 years at a 65-35, federal-state cost share.
Oakwood Beach is the second of seven post-Sandy beach construction projects to be completed in the state. In July, the reconstruction of the Raritan Bay shoreline in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown was completed. The seven projects were previously authorized by Congress, but not funded until the Sandy Relief Act was passed in 2013.
Also in 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed eight post-Sandy beach repair projects, returning roughly 45 miles of previously engineered and constructed beaches along the New Jersey coast to their original protective construction design at a cost of $345 million.
Contracts have been awarded by the USACE for beach construction projects from Great Egg Harbor to Townsend’s Inlet (Ocean City, Sea Isle and Upper Township) and Long Beach Island (Beach Haven, Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom and Surf City). Work for the Great Egg Harbor to Townsend’s Inlet project is anticipated to start in early 2015.
Other beach construction projects to commence in 2015 include work from Brigantine Inlet to Cape May Inlet (Margate and Longport); Sandy Hook to Manasquan Inlet (Allenhurst, Deal, Loch Arbour and Long Branch); and the Northern Ocean County peninsula from Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet (Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick, Toms River, Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Berkeley).