Posted April 5, 2020
A project to pump sand onto the north end beaches of Ocean City to fill in what was lost to coastal storms has been delayed, but officials say something extra is coming — hundreds of thousands of additional cubic yards of sand.
“We received supplemental funding to place an additional 650,000 cubic yards to bring the total to 1.45 million cubic yards of sand,” explained U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Officer Steve Rochette on Friday.
Rochette noted that the base contract amount was 800,000 cubic yards before it was decided that the area could use more sand.
The additional sand will help restore the beaches from Seaview Road to 13th Street.
The plan was to begin the north end project around May 1 with mobilization of equipment this month.
However, it has been pushed back to June with an end date “well into July,” Mayor Jay Gillian said.
The delay is not related to the coronavirus pandemic. It is due to the contractor’s dredge equipment availability, according to Rochette.
“Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company has informed us work may start in early June,” Rochette said in an email. “The plan is to pump from Morningside south to 13th Street first and then pump from Morningside north to the Seaview Road groin.”
Gillian commented about the project in his Mayor’s Message on Friday.
“Unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, I was informed this week that the Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project for the north end of Ocean City will be delayed by about a month,” Gillian said. “Work will begin in June to rebuild beaches from Seaspray Road to 13th Street. About two blocks of beach at a time will be closed, and work is now expected to extend well into July.”
In addition to the delay, when the project gets underway, sections of the beach will be closed.
“During construction, our contractor closes no more than 1,000 feet of beach at a time; this allows continued access for beachgoers by detouring no more than a block or two from any given point,” Rochette pointed out. “Our construction team will also provide daily status updates to Ocean City officials.”
Gillian noted of the temporary closures, “I understand that this will be an inconvenience to residents and guests, but Ocean City will always remain grateful to our partners at the Army Corps and state Department of Environmental Protection. These ongoing renourishment projects are vital in protecting property.”
However, there is an increase to the cost of the project with the added sand to be pumped in the north end, Rochette said.
Ocean City is one of three communities, including Sea Isle City and Strathmere, included in the beach renourishment project.
The plan also includes repairing dunes, repairing beach access points, installing sand fence and planting dune grass in some areas.
The original contract for the entire combined project (north and south Ocean City, Strathmere, and Sea Isle City) was for $32.5 million. The additional quantity of sand in the north end of Ocean City increases the contract by about $4.3 million, Rochette said.
The project is being funded primarily by the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The three towns will each put in a portion.
The entire project to widen the Cape May County coastline in three communities encompasses the north end project in Ocean City. A 1.5-mile section of beach from Corson’s Inlet State Park at 59th Street to 45th Street in Ocean City, which was replenished earlier this year, included 555,000 cubic yards of new sand.
There is also the Great Egg Harbor and Peck’s Beach project, which extends from Surf Road southwest to 34th Street in Ocean City and includes an elevated berm, referred to as the beach.
The plan also includes Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet from 34th Street in Ocean City to Townsends Inlet in Sea Isle City. Work in the southern end of Ocean City, from 34th Street to Corson’s Inlet State Park, includes a federally constructed dune.