The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded an $18.4 million contract for the replenishment of beaches and dunes on southern Long Beach Island using sand dredged from Little Egg Inlet, Commissioner Bob Martin announced yesterday.
“This important project will provide additional protections to the southern LBI area by replenishing beaches and dunes that have lost sand due to erosion from storms since completion of a major U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach fill project last year,” Commissioner Martin said.
“At the same time, it will greatly improve boating safety in the heavily used Little Egg Inlet, which has become virtually impassable for most boating traffic due to shoaling.”
The contract – awarded to Oak Brook, Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. – is designed to dredge 700,000 cubic yards of sand, with an option to dredge an additional 300,000 cubic yards if needed. The DEP is paying for the project using funds from its Shore Protection Program.
The sand will be placed along beaches and on dunes from Ocean Street in Beach Haven and south through Long Beach Township, repairing areas that sustained erosion as the result of storms since the Army Corps completed a $128 million beach and dune construction project that encompassed much of LBI.
The contractor will focus on the area from the terminal groin to Pershing Avenue in Holgate and the areas just south of Nelson Avenue to Kentford Avenue and just north of Holyoke Avenue to Belvoir Avenue in Beach Haven.
The removal of the sand from Little Egg Inlet, in the meantime, will clear a navigable boat channel a mile long and 24 feet below mean sea level to accommodate the numerous commercial and recreational fishing vessels, private boats and other craft that use the inlet to access Barnegat Bay, Great Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway.
The contractor is immediately beginning to mobilize, with a goal of completing the project by March 1, 2018, in time for the next boating season and at a time of year that takes advantage of natural wave actions that will push additional sand onto the beaches.