Posted October 17, 2019
Dredging to improve navigation in parts of the Metedeconk River is finishing about 2 months early, officials said.
LAVALLETTE, NJ — Navigation dredging is set to begin shortly in the Lavallette Channel off Barnegat Bay and in Sloop Creek in Berkeley Township, after dredging work on the Metedeconk Channels of the Metedeconk River was completed ahead of schedule, the state Department of Transportation announced.
The $16 million Metedeconk Channels project, which was expected to continue through December 2019, is finishing two months early, officials said. Because they are so far ahead of schedule, the state's Office of Maritime Resources worked with the contractor, H&L Contracting, to add the Sloop Creek and Lavallette Channel to the existing contract to maximize available time left in the dredging season, officials said.
The state had permits ready to do the work, which allowed them to add the two sites that otherwise would have had to wait until next summer, state officials said.
Dredging in Sloop Creek in Berkeley Township is scheduled to start on or about Oct. 24 and is expected to be finished in a few weeks. Dredging in Lavallette Channel in Lavallette will begin directly after Sloop Creek and is anticipated to last through Dec. 31, 2019.
H&L Contracting will be mechanically dredging the channels to an authorized depth of 5 feet below mean low water (-5 MLW) with 1 foot of allowable over-dredge. An estimated 86,000 cubic yards will be removed taken by barge to the placement location known as Dredge Hole 25 (DH25). DH25 is off the coast of West Point Island in Lavallette.
Dredging operations are expected to continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the end of December 2019. Channel use may be limited where the excavator barges are located. Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change.
Boaters are warned that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) will be removed as necessary in Sloop Creek and Lavallette Channel for the duration of the project. All mariners, including those utilizing human-powered craft, should be especially alert to project equipment, much of which will be continuously moving. Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.
The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the construction equipment, buoys, barges and other equipment during this time. State officials urge that no one approach the construction site or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.
Boaters should proceed through dredging maintenance and construction zones with the utmost caution. No-wake speed should be observed in active work zones throughout the project duration.
The Metedeconk Creek project restored the following state channels in Barnegat Bay to their authorized depth: Upper Metedeconk River Channel (6 feet), Green Cove Channel (5 feet), Beaver Dam Creek North and South (5 feet), Bay Head Channel, Winter Yacht Basin, Kettle Creek-Sailors Quay (5 feet) and Kettle Creek (5 feet) with 1 foot of allowable over-dredge, respectively. These channels were severely impacted, creating shoals and limiting navigation, by Superstorm Sandy.
"This project renewed safe navigation and maintains these Barnegat Bay Channels in a state of good repair," state officials said.