The Christie Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially broke ground yesterday on a long-awaited $32.5 million seawall project in northern Atlantic City that will provide critical protection from Absecon Inlet during storm events.
DEP Commissioner Bob Martin was joined by USACE Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Michael Bliss, U.S. Congressman Frank LoBiondo and Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian for the kickoff of the mostly federally-funded project that will reduce flood and coastal storm damage from Oriental Avenue to Atlantic Avenue, as well as an area adjacent to Melrose Avenue.
“This project will provide critical protection for the northern end of Atlantic City, which was battered by Superstorm Sandy and many other storm events that preceded it,” Commissioner Martin said.
“Our team has worked closely with NJDEP and Atlantic City to move this part of the overall Absecon Island project forward,” added USACE Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Michael Bliss. “This is a complex undertaking that required integrating designs to rebuild the historic boardwalk and construct a seawall, which is designed to reduce storm damages.”
The Absecon Inlet Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Structures project includes the construction of a large stone revetment backed by a steel sheet pile bulkhead for 1,340 feet between Oriental and Atlantic Avenues, as well as a smaller wooden bulkhead fronted by a stone revetment for 400 feet between Madison and Melrose Avenues.
The contract for the USACE-funded seawall construction was awarded to Hackensack-based J. Fletcher Creamer & Son late last year. The contractor mobilized and began demolition of the old boardwalk and debris over the summer.
The total contract for the project, for base and options, is $32.5 million, with $20 million going to bulkhead and storm reduction materials and the other $9.3 million going toward the boardwalk. Another $3.2 million in options for Atlantic City’s boardwalk is also built in.
Last year, USACE, in partnership with DEP, 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.