Beachfill contractor Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Co. could begin mobilizing equipment as early as this week on Long Beach Island, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project is still on track to start later this month.
Dredging operations will commence in Ship Bottom, with pipe landings at Eighth Street and 23rd Street. “From each landing site, construction will first progress north and then flip and progress south,” said ACE Public Affairs Officer Rochette. “Beachfill operations are expected to last 35 days within the borough of Ship Bottom.”
Two dredges, the Padre Island and the Dodge Island, are scheduled for this part of the job. After Ship Bottom is complete, crews will move to southern Long Beach Township, around 106th Street in Beach Haven Park, and then progress south to Holgate. Five pipe landing sites will be necessary for this section of the project.
“A third dredge, the Liberty Island, is scheduled to mobilize to the project site in August 2015 and begin operations in one of the remaining sections of the project,” dependent on the outcome of eminent domain proceedings, as well as weather and overall progress, Rochette noted.
No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed as work progresses along the Island; closed sections are “rolling,” said Rochette, and advance as the beachfill progresses. Great Lakes anticipates construction to progress approximately 100 feet per day.
Under the base contract, all work is required to be complete by April 12, 2016, though there are currently options on the contract for further work that, if awarded, could add time to the contract completion date. Weather and mechanical delays may also cause a change in the construction schedule and completion date.
For the duration of the project, “sand will be pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches within the municipalities of Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Beach Haven and a small section of Surf City over a length of 12.7 miles,” the Army Corps explained. “The sand is then built into a dune and berm system designed to reduce potential damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes that can occur from coastal storm events.”
The contract also includes the construction of dune crossovers, dune fencing installation and dune grass plantings.
Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck said recently that if there are no last-minute delays or problems due to weather, the Ship Bottom part of the project should be completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. “Dune grass will have to be replanted, but that will be done in the fall,” he stated.
The mayor believes the Ship Bottom work will take less time than in the other municipalities because it already has some areas with a strong dune structure.
“But still,” he noted, “we saw how vulnerable we were after Superstorm Sandy. This work will strengthen our beaches so that we’ll have better protection the next time a major storm hits us.”
The LBI project was only partially completed when Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore in fall 2012. Prior to that, “the Army Corps completed the initial construction of the project at Surf City in 2006; Harvey Cedars in 2010; and Brant Beach between 31st and 57th Streets, in Long Beach Township, in 2012,” an ACE press release stated. “The Army Corps repaired beaches in Surf City and Harvey Cedars in 2012 after Hurricane Irene, and fully restored the beaches within all three communities after Hurricane Sandy in 2013. The restoration and repair work was funded 100 percent through the Army Corps’ Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program. The current contract will complete the initial construction of the dune and berm system on Long Beach Island.
“Construction is funded entirely by the federal government through the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (PL113-2), commonly known as the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill. Following the completion of initial construction, the project is eligible for continued periodic nourishment.”
Updates on the project will be posted to the ACE website – www.nap.usace.army.mil – as information is available.