Beach Fill Wraps Up in Long Beach Township in OctoberArmy Corps ‘Determining Next Steps’ for Ship Bottom, Holgate
Beach replenishment repair work has resumed in Long Beach Township following a brief pause while contractor Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Co.’s Padre Island and Dodge Island dredges sat in safe harbor due to this past weekend’s stormy weather and rough seas. Current operations – from about 46th Street in Brant Beach to Nebraska Avenue in Beach Haven Park – should be complete by mid- or late October.
Although the current project area was filled previously starting in spring 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal project sponsor, determined these beaches required additional sand due to erosion last fall and winter. “The October (2015) and January storms eroded significant amounts of sand in areas that are part of our current contract,” the Army Corps explained. “We then received approval to pump additional sand to bring those areas back to the full design beach template.
“This additional sand will further help to reduce the risk of storm damages and improve the condition of the adjacent beaches within the whole system in the long run.”
Great Lakes was scheduled to begin pumping in Ship Bottom following the completion of work in the township, but as of Tuesday, according to Army Corps press officer Steve Rochette, “The team is still determining next steps as far as Holgate and Ship Bottom. We’re working through what can be done based on physical, environmental and financial constraints.”
Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said Tuesday the USACE informed him the borough’s beaches are, laterally, in the “tolerance area” and therefore may not need full restoration. “They asked me about tapering both ends” of Ship Bottom, the mayor noted of his most recent conversation with the Corps. “I would like the sand we’re entitled to. Wherever they put it is fine with me.”
Holgate, on the other hand, was not originally scheduled for a beachfill redo, but the Corps is considering placing additional sand there as well, with no guarantees that this will happen.
Meanwhile, Harvey Cedars – which is not part of the current contract – recently introduced an ordinance to secure replenishment, via cost share, while Great Lakes is still working locally. The ordinance allocates $631,000 to repair the beaches from Hudson Avenue to 80th Street, which were damaged by Winter Storm Jonas last January. The total cost of that project is $2.1 million.
“If the dredges are still here, the cost for mobilizing them is $200,000,” Mayor Jonathan Oldham stated at a special borough commission meeting. “If the dredges are out of the area, the cost would be $4 million. We have to act as long as the equipment is on the Island.”
Harvey Cedars’ beaches were first restored in 2010. They were repaired after Hurricane Irene in 2011, and again in the spring of 2013 following Superstorm Sandy. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared those two storms to be emergencies, allowing for restoration at no cost, that was not the case with Jonas.
As Rochette reiterated, any upcoming work in Harvey Cedars would be “funded by the community and the state as additional work under our Project Partnership Agreement. Essentially, it saves the community on the high mobilization costs associated with dredging and placing sand.”
For project updates, visit nap.usace.army.mil. —J.K.-H.