Sand Piled Near the Lighthouse to Make Way for Material from Channel Dredging

Dec 07, 2017
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Earthmoving equipment piling hills of sand is the last sight a visitor would expect to see at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, but that is the scene this month as a containment area is built to hold dredged material from nearby waters.

This phase of the state-supervised channel dredging project began at the park Monday, Dec. 4 as the site is being readied for material that will be pumped there via an inflow pipe that will temporarily cross the pedestrian walkway.

The inflow pipe will run from the inlet onto a bermed 5-acre discharge area, said the state Department of Environmental Protection’s New Jersey State Parks Service.

Also at the site will be an outflow pipe running over the jetty east of the walkway, into the inlet.

“Pumping will occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week for approximately two weeks. Once pumping is complete the berm will be knocked down and the new sand will remain on the beach,” said the DEP on the Facebook page “NJ State Parks, Forests and Historic Sites.”

One of the questions that the public is asking is how the work will affect access to and around the lighthouse state park. The answer is twofold. The park will be open during regular hours as usual, but access to the walkway will be affected while the work continues.

“The project will not affect park hours or lighthouse hours and should be finished by the end of the year,” said the NJ State Park Service press release.

However, regarding the walkway, “access on the walkway will be restricted at the point where the pipe crosses the walkway, approximately 100 feet from the lighthouse. There will be a ramp over the inflow pipe on the beach for pedestrian traffic to access the eastern part of the park.”

The dredge material deposit work near the lighthouse is part of an overall four-channel dredging project under the direction of the state Department of Transportation. The dredging is being done by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp.

The four channels in the project designed to relieve shoaling are Double Creek Mainland Channel, Double Creek Inlet, High Bar Harbor Channel and the Barnegat Light Stake Channel, the latter located off the municipal boat ramp in Barnegat Light.

The lighthouse state park site will receive part but not all of the dredged material from the overall project. Dredged material from the earliest segments of the project were deposited at a containment site near the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township.

A 52-page packet of maps and plan drawings showed last spring that the pipeline would be submerged except at four points where booster pumps are needed.

Removing about 43,000 cubic yards from each channel, the work will result in the new channels dredged to a depth of at least 6 feet below mean low water, although some spots may be closer to 7 feet, plans showed.

On Dec. 4, Barnegat Light Councilman  Ed Wellington said the dredging contract had progressed to a phase where the Barnegat Light Stake Channel was next.

In preparation, borough Public Works Department crews were removing boat slips from the boat ramp area that stretches roughly between Seventh and 10th streets on the bayfront.

The dredging must be done by Dec. 31, according to environmental regulations. The project permit states that dredging is not allowed between Jan. 1 and May 31 to protect the early life stages of winter flounder. Also, dredging is prohibited from April 15 to Sept. 30 due to DEP requirements to protect submerged aquatic vegetation.

— Maria Scandale



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