DEP, Surf City Still Discussing Beach Replenishment Payment

Dec 13, 2017

The state Department of Environmental Protection remains in negotiations with Surf City officials on paying for beach replenishment work scheduled to begin early next year. The work is part of a larger project that includes Harvey Cedars, and 31st to 57th streets in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township.

State officials didn’t say whether the work, slated for 13th Street north to about 21st Street in the borough, would be removed from the project if an agreement isn’t reached.

When the borough was initially notified that the beach replenishment project was a go, the project was fully funded. Later, the Army Corps decided it wanted to go beyond that scope, and that’s where the borough incurred the disputed some $700,000 in cost for sand, according to Councilman Peter Hartney, who oversees beaches.

“There wasn’t enough federal money to do what they wanted to do,” he has said, noting the borough was awarded a construction grant but there is a cost-share for the extra sand that is split with the state.

The borough does have several options, Hartney said, but the cost for the current project with the extra sand is somewhere between $700,000 and $800,000. Larry Hajna, a public information officer for the DEP, has acknowledged the borough “does have past financial obligations” to the state agency.

The town’s beaches were partially replenished during the original project in 2006. That project was completed in 2007 after beaches had to be closed due to the discovery that World War I-era munitions dumped at sea had been pumped ashore with the sand. In 2009, the blocks between 12th and 22nd streets in the borough were also repaired after a nor’easter that year. Repair work took place again in 2011, and in 2013, Surf City underwent a Hurricane Sandy restoration, according to the Army Corps.

In late November 2016, the initial construction of LBI’s dune and berm system was completed with the final leg of the work being conducted in Holgate by contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.

The next phase is being done by Weeks Marine Inc., and is expected to begin at the end of January or in February, according to according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Officer Steve Rochette. Weeks will move its operations to the Island after finishing a beachfill project in Brigantine.

The contract completion date is April 27 for the LBI project.

“As far as the sequence of work, we should have more information on that in the next several weeks,” Rochette said.

Cranford-based Weeks Marine was the low bidder for the beachfill – a $34 million base bid and $40 million for base plus contract options – and beat out Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., Manson Construction Co. and the Dutra Group.

Gina G. Scala

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.