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With Replenishment Project Looking Elusive, A Geotube in Brick Looks Likely

Officials: Army Corps project could take a year to get off the ground

Spending between $150,000 and $200,000 to shore up the township's ocean dunes "every time it rains" cannot go on forever, officials said Tuesday.

But an Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project that has been characterized as a permanent fix for the threat of ocean breaches in Brick's barrier island section appears in flux, as a deadline to receive easements awaits.

"We're getting word from the Army Corps of Engineers that it's a year out, maybe longer, before they even come in to Bricktown," said Business Administration Scott Pezarras.

And that timeline, of course, is assuming all of the township's oceanfront property owners sign easements allowing the dune work to continue.

One thing is for sure, however: the current temporary fixes at the beachfront are not working. Since Superstorm Sandy destroyed the township's dunes, crews have been using heavy equipment to push sand berms into place to protect homes and guard against ocean breaches, which could cause catastrophic flooding on both sides of the bay, like the breach that occurred during Sandy in Mantoloking.

But each time there is a storm – even a small one – the temporary berms wash away, and they cost between $150,000 and $200,000 to rebuild each time.

"Every time it rains, it costs us $150,000 to $200,000," said Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni. "How many $150,000 to $200,000 incidents do we have to have before we put a permanent fix in there?"

A permanent fix may be a geotube, a type of revetment that usually consists of gravel and sand wrapped in ultra-strong geotextile fabric, forming a tube which is placed underneath a dune. The geotube acts similar to a seawall and protects the coastline from dune breaches.

The township council on Tuesday night voted, on second reading, in favor of setting aside $7.9 million in capital funds for a geotube that would run the length of the township's beachfront, which could be paired with a future dune replenishment project completed by the Army Corps, if such a project moves forward.

"If the Army Corps of Engineers doesn't come up with another game plan, I would certainly like to start sooner rather than later both in design and a timeline," said Pezarras. "We're going to have another hurricane season upon us and another nor'easter season upon us."

The cost of the geotube project would be reimbursed 75 percent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, meaning the township would have to fund $1,975,000 of the project's costs through its capital budget.

Township officials said they may look into partnering with Mantoloking Borough on the project. Mantoloking officials have also announced their desire to build a geotube, though no contract has been awarded there and the borough is still waiting on its own round of easements which would allow the project to move forward.

"If we can partner up and save on the mobilization costs, that's what we want to do," said Pezarras, who explained that those initial costs are among the most expensive aspects of the project.

U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan's office has set a May 1 deadline for all easements to be signed by oceanfront homeowners. It was not clear how many of Brick's oceanfront owners have voluntarily signed the documents.

proud April 17, 2013 at 10:13 PM
@Lili, if you don't think that over one million cubic yards of sand washed into Barnegat Bay was a major factor that contributed to flooding on the mainland during and subsequent to Sandy, than you are choosing to ignore the trained experts and scientific data.The reason for this shift was inadequate dune systems complete with breaches. Now, you may not like that (for whatever reason),but the facts remain.
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM
@JHill, if someone smashed your car, and was at fault, they would be responsible to pay for the damages, whether you we're covered for collision, or not. If an individual or individuals cause the flooding of my property, than they should be responsible for my damages. That being said, BUILD the dunes!
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:32 PM
FEMA has been quite clear that engineered beaches would alter both the vertical elevations and horizontal boundaries within the flood plain.
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM
The answer to your original question @ It's over! is when the end justifies the means.
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Don't be surprised if you are required to elevate your tent..
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:45 PM
@Barrier Joe, your Congressional Representatives are slated to report in May. It would be a huge benefit to the region if your neighbors shared your wisdom and signed the easements.
proud April 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM
@Squandered Youth, your sound logic supports the reasoning that the 38 billion dollars generated annually in tourism revenue justifies the fraction of that earmarked for mitigation efforts. An ounce of prevention.....
Lili Martinez April 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Proud - someone enlighten me with the scientific data? Do you mean instead of 3 feet in your house you got 4 ft? At that point there is not much of a differance. I don't know how much water one million cubic yards of sand displaces. I would think someone can figure it out. High tide now versus high tide readings. The sand has to be removed no question. I agree that we need an adequate well thought out dune system that is right for our area that is proven to work. If anybody can tell me what beach and what kind of dune system has held up against a hurricane? Let's go there, no problem, I'm sure we'll get there. Realistically everyone should know that that the process is a long one. In the mean time, we have to move foward with protecting the dunes yesterday. What? our politicians didn't know that? People were out up and down the shore putting in trees,snow fences and sea grass since December. We have done nothing but push sand up in a pile.
Scott Pezarras April 18, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Tom I didn't say this was my idea, this idea cam from the marine engineer.
Scott Pezarras April 18, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Its over That is the recommendation of the engineer and it is an approved method by the DEP.
proud April 18, 2013 at 02:51 AM
You can start her with a little scientific backround @ Lili M Superstorm Sandy: New Jersey Beaches 30-40 Feet Narrower After ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../superstorm-sandy-nj-beaches-storm_n_... Nov 20, 2012 – Some of New Jersey's famous beaches lost half their sand when Sandy ... one of the hardest-hit communities, lost 150 feet of beach, said Stewart Farrell, director ... to 40 feet narrower after Superstorm Sandy, according to a survey that is sure to ...... The only problem is that you need new/un developed land.
PPNB April 18, 2013 at 03:28 AM
And how wide would those dunes be? 100ft wide, 22ft high.? No bathing beach left. OK. This property is so important and valuable to the protection of inland owners then , right? Get out your check books and pay the price equal to the value of all the properties protected. That's fair. The ACOE will maintain the dunes for all of you. But wasn't it a freak storm that won't happen again, making FEMA compliance unnecessary. So, you really don't need ACOE dunes just what was there before,right? Or buy it, put up and shut up.!
Dawn Marie White April 18, 2013 at 04:02 AM
What I find to be the shame in all of this.....is... Most of the problems with moving forward with elevations, dune restoration, easement language etc...are caused at the federal level. If the mayors of all towns effected by Sandy got together and made a visit to Washington in a united front what an IMPACT they would all make.....Yes, the advisory councils are all great but changes need to be made and a united front standing in-front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs is what should happen! Locally decisions need to be made, but the Federal Government holds the high cards when it comes to elevations, funding and the legal aspects.....Stop FEMA Now and Save our NJ Community’s keep the pressure on, your voices are being heard.....Protecting our community's is the priority.....If your interested in reading more about the geo-tube system here is a great Power Point Link..... http://bcs.dep.state.fl.us/news/innovative/report/appendix_c/06-Subsurface_Dune_Protect.pdf
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:03 AM
WHERE WERE THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS when this town expanded and was overbuilt?
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:04 AM
My point is they could have prevented building in a known flood zone.
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Should have been done two decades ago as all of this was predicted some time ago albeit not to this epic proportion.
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:12 AM
Yah, but once the waterfront homes are washed away, the inland homes may very well be the waterfront and I wonder if they would feel differently. Just sayin'.
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:16 AM
I think a lot of this got out of hand when homes stopped being mere dwellings and became temples of greed. Now I understand there are plenty of people who lived in modest bungalows who are affected as well, but it just got to be insane with some of these hotel sized dwellings for one family. I think a lot of people have a hard time feeling any sympathy for that and I get it that they did contribute to the tax base, but they also contributed to the massive consumption that causes these massive storms in the first place.
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Also, a lot of people DID insure their homes appropriately, problem is the insurance companies won't pony up and according to one estimate I read are only cutting checks for twenty five percent of what the insured thought they should recieve as fair replacement of damaged portion.
KC April 18, 2013 at 05:22 AM
No, not yet, but Lakewood was hit by a tornado. There are entire neighborhoods in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where the landscape will never be the same due to tornados. I know because I met some young people from there when I was in Florida. They told me all about the horror their little town endured. So Jackson, Lakewood and anywhere else is not necessarily immune from tragic weather events.
Tom Cular April 18, 2013 at 09:28 AM
@KC The COE has no authority to limit or restrict building in areas that are or were considered upland, that's a function of local and state government, planning/zoning CAFRA, etc. I've worked with the COE for more than 4 decades; most of their efforts have worked out fine for years as a result of diligent planning and engineering. What works in Galveston may not be the best solution for the NJ coastline, the COE looks at each situation individually. Take a look at the jetties at the Manasquan inlet, the idea of using "Dolos" was innovative at the time, they're still there doing their job, the idea actually came from Italy. The Manasquan inlet actually divides the NY and Phila. Districts, I’m proud to say that I was the project manager for both projects and had great cooperation from engineers from both districts.
Tom Cular April 18, 2013 at 09:39 AM
@ Scott P, The article made it sound as though the idea of Geo-Tubes came from Chambers Bridge Road or Birdsall. Billy Birdsall worked under me when his grandfather ran the show from Belmar. At that time there were primarily two engineering firms in Monmouth County doing municipal engineering, depending on the town's political leanings, things haven't changed much have they?
Scott Pezarras April 18, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Tom This receommendation was made by Andy Raichale. He has been involved in projects up and down the east coast.
Squandered Youth April 18, 2013 at 01:38 PM
Lili asks a good question about the width of beach and height of dunes needed. I'm sure at some point the State or Army Corps will work up that information. There are a lot of variables, including the depth/ slope of the adjacent sea floor, and a trade-off between height and width of dune and width of beach. Wildwood has a 900' beach and its general response to Sandy was "what hurricane?" Places on LBI did fine with beaches only about 100' - 150' wide, but they were backed by 30'+ dunes as wide as a football field. The beach at the Mantoloking break through was only about 100' wide, and the same is true in Sea Bright. Tom's mention of the Manasquan Inlet raises the issue of "sand theft." Jetties (the rock walls lining inlets) and groins (the sea walls at right angles to the beach) collect sand on the "upstream" side. The beach in front of Jenkinsons is normally 350' wide, and it's 450' wide on the Point Pleasant side of the inlet. The beaches north of the inlet in Manasquan are only about 150' wide, even with most of the sand dredged annually from the inlet being dumped on the Manasquan side to try to compensate. Between narrower beaches and flooding from the river side, Manasquan pays a price for keeping the inlet open. I think a rough rule of thumb is that some combination of a 300' beach and a 30' high, 60' wide dune would have been sufficient to protect property from Sandy-level ocean flooding, but I'd like to see harder facts on this issue.
proud April 18, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Have you seen the typical cross section from the USACE?
Tom Cular April 18, 2013 at 02:47 PM
@ Scott Pezarras, Thanks Scott, I don't personally know Mr. Raichale, but it's nice to hear that the recomendatation came from an engineer familar with coastal issues. It's a different ball game than what most civil engineers usually deal with on a regular basis. I've been around long enough to have seen political influence interfere with what should have been engineering decisions, and they failed. As I stated earlier, I believe the COE has some very qualified folks who have experince and their advice should be listened to.
Squandered Youth April 18, 2013 at 04:12 PM
You made me look, Proud, I can't find any recent ACOE materials, but Stocton State College did a series of before/after cross-sections at various places along the shore that are available on line at http://intraweb.stockton.edu/eyos/page.cfm?siteID=149&pageID=160. The shore is broken down into about ten areas that are the subject of separate reports, and each report covers about a dozen or so locations where SSC took cross-sections. The survey has some notes of the extent of property damage behind the dunes at each location, but, in general, the locations marked in red as "dune failure" on the bar graphs at the end of each report mark where bad things happened. The key would be to compare what was in place in the "dune failed" areas like Manasquan compared to areas where the dunes didn't fail. From that, some civil engineer could draw the line between what combination of beach and dune worked and and what didn't. If this was a high school metal shop safety film strip (remember those?), Manasquan's 8' high "dunettes" behind a 150' beach would obviously be one of the "don't do this" slides.
proud April 18, 2013 at 08:57 PM
@ Squandered Youth, this information is for LBI courtesy of the USACE: "A Feasibility Report Completed in September of 1999 recommended Beach fill with periodic nourishment to reduce potential hurricane and storm damages for the island. The project will construct a Dune with a top elevation 22 feet above sea level with a 300-400 foot wide beam, depending on the location of the beach on the island, at an elevation of 8 feet above sea level". It is very similar to designs supplied in the easement packet distributed by Toms River Township. I will look further for information about areas north of Manasquan inlet that you are interested in.
proud April 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM
According to APP, Brick is moving ahead with Geotube project while they wait on USACE. The Star Ledger ran a video yesterday of a selfish dolt in Ocean Beach (TR)(that leases land back to occupants) outright refusing to sign easements .His name is John Mc Donaugh or something like that. The man should be tarred and feathered. He' s a real cocky,arrogant, wet back looking guy. I'm guess he got big bucks, but with his attitude, his Mother probably doesn't even like him.
proud April 19, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Foxes in the hen house?: Update for December 4, 2012 | OBIII - Ocean Beach & Bay Club www.oceanbeach3.org/breaking-news/update-for-december-4-2012/ Dec 4, 2012 – POST DECEMBER 7th, 2012 ACCESS TO OCEAN BEACH UNIT III: ... schedules to the barrier island will be created and posted to the Toms River website. ... In addition, John McDonough, will ensure compliance is reflected ...


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