Absecon Island Coastal Protection Scheme Begins

Image source: USACE

The Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yesterday announced that work on a project to build beaches and dunes on Atlantic County’s Absecon Island will begin next week with work in Atlantic City, followed soon thereafter by construction in Ventnor, Margate and Longport.

“We are very excited to move forward with this project, which will provide storm protection for these key shore resort communities,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said.

“The Absecon Island project, as well as the northern Ocean County project, to be launched soon in Toms River’s Ortley Beach, will fulfill the Christie Administration’s pledge to construct a coastwide system of engineered beaches and dunes to make our economically vital shore communities more resilient to storms and flooding.

“This is the culmination of an historic achievement which will, better than ever before, protect lives and properties along our coast from future storms.”

Encompassing eight miles of shoreline, the Absecon Island Coastal Storm Reduction project is a joint effort of the USACE’s Philadelphia District and the DEP.

The $63 million project calls for periodic replenishment of beaches and dunes for Atlantic City and Ventnor that were already designed to meet USACE engineering standards. It also calls for construction of beaches and dunes for Margate and Longport that meet USACE standards.

Following launch of the Atlantic City portion of the Absecon Island project, work will proceed from north to south to maximize efficiencies in the deployment of dredge equipment. Work in Ventnor is tentatively scheduled to start in early June, followed by Margate in mid-July and Longport around the third week of September.

The Absecon project calls for a 200-foot-wide beach, also known as a berm, and a dune built to an elevation of nearly 15 feet above sea level for Atlantic City. A 100-foot-wide berm and a dune to an elevation of nearly 13 feet above sea level will be built for Ventnor, Margate and Longport.

More than 3.8 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged from approved offshore areas and pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches of the four municipalities.

The sand will then be built into a dune and beach system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes that can occur from coastal storm events.

The Army Corps contract is being implemented by Cranford-based Weeks Marine Inc., which will also be working on the northern Ocean County project.

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