The Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have announced the completion of the beach and dune portion of a $57.6 million project to construct beaches and dunes in Cape May County.
DEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Lt. Col. Michael Bliss, Commander, Philadelphia District of USACE, were joined this morning by Sea Isle City Mayor and Cape May County Freeholder Len Desiderio and other federal, state and local officials at 58th Street in Sea Isle City as machinery from contractor Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. began demobilizing.
The project, which began in April, provides southern Ocean City, the Strathmere section of Upper Township and Sea Isle City greater protection from flooding and reduced impacts from coastal erosion during storm events.
“The completion of this project marks another big step forward in New Jersey’s drive to fortify its entire coastline, from Sandy Hook to Cape May,” said Lt. Col. Michael Bliss. “In the wake of Sandy, the DEP and the Army Corps have rebuilt a number of beaches that already had federal protection. Now we’re adding that kind of dune and beach protection to the communities that didn’t have it when the superstorm hit.”
During the course of the project, which began in southern Ocean City on April 17, more than 4.5 million cubic yards of sand were pumped over nine miles of the federally-funded Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet project.
From 34th Street to the northern boundary of Corson’s Inlet State Part, a dune approximately 13 feet above sea level, with a 25-foot-width at the top was constructed, as well as a beach extending more than 100 feet from the seaward base of the dune.
On Ludlum Island, which encompasses the Strathmere section of Upper Township and Sea Isle City, the dune has been constructed 15 feet above sea level and 25 feet wide at the top. The beach is now more than 50 feet wide.
Additionally, beach repairs were also made between 54th and 82nd street in response to a strong nor’easter earlier this month that eroded some of the completed work.
The completed project is one of several along the New Jersey coastline being funded by $1.2 billion appropriated by Congress to rebuild and strengthen the state’s beaches following Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
With the completion of the Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet project, the contractor’s Illinois Dredge now moves to northern Ocean City to start a $9 million beach renourishment project. This project pump 700,000 cubic yards of sand in the city’s Peck Beach section, which will go to from its terminal groin at Waverly Boulevard to 12th Street. The project is expected to take between 45 and 60 days.
USACE and DEP are currently undertaking a $128 million beach and dune construction project on Long Beach Island. A $38.2 million project to construct beaches and improve infrastructure in the area of Loch Arbour, Allenhurst and Deal in Monmouth County is now complete.
Since Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with DEP, completed multiple 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.