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Longport Point Revetment Project Could Delay Dune Construction Till Fall

Posted on May 2, 2017

By Nanette LoBiondo GallowayShoreNewsToday

According to borough engineer Richard Carter, the Longport Point revetment project, which is currently out to bid, could delay beachfill and dune construction in the lower portions of Absecon Island, possibly until after Labor Day.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is seeking bids for reconstruction and damage repairs to the 11th Avenue terminal groin and Atlantic Avenue jetty. Bids were to be received at the Division of Coastal Engineering in Toms River Thursday, April 27, and a low-bid contractor could be selected by May 2.

The revetment includes placing thousands of tons of stone and sealing three structures to improve storm protection for some of Atlantic County’s most expensive homes. The design extends the existing rock area another 20 feet and raises the height to prevent waves from damaging homes, some of which sustained damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Carter said the revetment would offer support for the dune project. The state intends to taper the sand to match the height of the groin, and the first part of the project should be completed before the dune construction begins, he said.

“We have been waiting for this for quite some time,” Mayor Nicholas Russo said. “They have clearly identified that the sand will not stay at the point area because of the contour of the land, and that’s why the revetment is needed.”

Weeks Marine, of Cranford, Union County, has been awarded a $63.3 million contract to build engineered beaches and dunes in Margate, Longport and a section in Ventnor, and replenish beaches in Atlantic City and Ventnor. The original schedule had the work being completed in Longport by Fourth of July weekend and work in Margate running June 2-Sept. 7.

According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Stephen Rochette, the Atlantic City portion of the Absecon Island Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project was scheduled to start April 13 using a dredge that would relocate sand from the Absecon Inlet borrow site. However, the work in Ventnor, Margate and Longport requires a different type of dredge, a hopper dredge, which the contractor, Weeks Marine Inc., is using to complete a job in Florida. After that, it is needed to repair dunes in North Jersey before it can move south for the work in Downbeach.

An updated schedule announced April 13 indicated work was scheduled to run April 21-July 9 in Atlantic City, May 28-Aug. 7 in Longport, Aug. 7-Oct. 16 in Margate and Oct. 16-Nov. 30 in Ventnor. Rochette said that if the weather is good, dredging in Atlantic City would begin by next Friday or Saturday.

At that time, Margate Mayor Michael Becker said he was pleased the city got most of its summer back, stating, “And I’m not sure if this is the final schedule. We may get even luckier.”

On Wednesday, Becker said the further delay is good news for the city.

“The further it goes into fall, the happier I’ll be,” he said.

Longport’s Russo, on the other hand, expressed dismay at the delay, which had most of the summer beach season in Longport disrupted by the project.

At the April 26 commission meeting, Carter said he learned the hopper dredge scheduled to do the Longport, Margate and Ventnor portions of the Absecon Island dunes project may not arrive until the end of the May.

He also said the contractor that will be selected to do the revetment will be required to start piling up rocks within 60 days of the state issuing a notice to proceed, which would bring the estimated completion date for that portion of the project to the end of July.

“Going through that process, the Army Corps recognized this project has to be done and they are evaluating the sequence changes relative to the Longport Point project,” Carter said. “We have been told there are no definite dates for when they are going to be doing work in Ventnor, Margate and Longport.”

“Our team is still working on an updated schedule at this time and should have an update soon,” Army Corps spokesman Stephen Rochette wrote in an email Friday morning.

Carter said the work schedule would likely be available by the end of next week.

“That’s the best information we have as of this date,” Russo said.

The design phase of the revetment was funded with a $200,000 state grant.

The commissioners previously awarded a $10,000 contract to Arthur W. Ponzio Co. and Associates to prepare the initial construction documents and on April 26 authorized an additional $1,624 for modifications to the plan to meet Army Corps requirements.

The $4 million cost of the project is being split between the state and municipality. The borough is paying 25 percent of the cost and has already approved $1 million in a capital improvement bond.

Source: ShoreNewsToday

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