The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach and dune construction project that will protect homes, businesses and infrastructure in coastal northern Ocean County – one of the areas hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy – has gone out to bid.
The project will cover some 14 miles of coastline along the Barnegat Peninsula and will protect the communities of Bay Head, Berkeley, Brick, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Toms River.
Work on the project, expected to cost about $150 million, is expected to begin by the spring.
“This crucial project will protect lives and property from the kind of devastation much of this area experienced during Superstorm Sandy,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin during yesterday’s news conference.
Commissioner Martin was joined at the news conference by Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Colonel Michael Bliss, as well as mayors and other local officials.
“We are pleased to be in a position to advertise the contract and move forward on this vital project,” said Lt. Colonel Bliss. “Getting to this point required a great deal of hard work at multiple levels of government. Ultimately, this project will serve to reduce the risk of storm damages for communities that were among the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.”
After the award of the bid, expected this fall, work will begin with beach and dune construction in southern Mantoloking, as well as all of Lavallette, Toms River, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park. Work in Bay Head, Berkeley, northern Mantoloking and Point Pleasant Beach will begin after necessary easements have been obtained.
Over the course of the project, some 11 million cubic yards of sand will be pumped from offshore to build dunes and beaches. For most of the project area, dunes will be built 22 feet above sea level.
Beaches will be constructed from 100 feet to 300 feet wide and 8.5 feet above sea level. The project area will receive periodic replenishment projects over the course of 50 years to replace sand lost through normal erosion.
The federal government will be paying for 65 percent of the project using money approved under the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, which funds projects that Congress had previously authorized but had not been completed by the time Sandy hit in October 2012. New Jersey will pay for 35 percent of the project from the state’s Shore Protection Fund.
In other parts of the state, a $57.6 million beach and dune project encompassing beaches at the southern end of Ocean City, the Strathmere section of Upper Township and Sea Isle City in Cape May County is complete. And a $38.2 million project to construct beaches and infrastructure in Loch Arbour, Allenhurst and Deal in Monmouth County also is finished.
A second Monmouth County beach fill project from Elberon to Deal is ongoing. A $140 million beach and dune construction project covering 12.7 miles of beach on Long Beach Island is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Work is also expected to begin this winter on a beach and dune project for Atlantic County’s Absecon Island, which went out to bid earlier this month. The project involves initial construction of engineered beaches for Longport and Margate and replenishment of beaches in Atlantic City and Ventnor. In addition, periodic replenishment for Cape May Point and Cape May City is expected to take place this winter.