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Brick Beach Project Won't Start by June

Eroded beaches and dunes will be rebuilt in a project that now will likely start in the fall or next winter.

Beach replenishment work takes place in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township, June 2013. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
Beach replenishment work takes place in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township, June 2013. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
A federal project to rebuild beaches and dunes between Manasquan Inlet and Barnegat Inlet will not start until after summer, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Gov. Chris Christie announced in October an "accelerated schedule" of projects to restore beaches damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The schedule called for the beaches in Point Pleasant, Brick and nearby municipalities to start in June.

But the work is not likely to start until sometime after Labor Day, according to Ed Voigt and Richard Pearsall of the Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.

A complex array of partnership agreements, environmental permits and other prerequisite planning will keep the project from starting in the spring, they said.

Pearsall said the solicitation for bids will go out in July with awards made in September and construction starting after that.

The schedule affects property owners, beachgoers, vacationers and rental agencies in beach communities hit hard by Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012. Sandy's storm surge cut through the barrier islands at some points, flattened dunes in other places and eroded beaches.

But a summer work schedule would have disrupted the height of the beach season.

State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna confirmed that the environmental work and design reviews necessary for large-scale beach projects likely led to the delayed schedule.

"You would have expect that there would be some revision to schedules," Hajna said.

The federal government will pick up the full $86 million cost of the initial project. The project area would then be part of a three-year maintenance cycle with the Army Corps of Engineers returning to restore the beaches to the initial project dimensions. 

The federal government pays for 65 percent of the program, while the state Department of Environmental Protection picks up the other 35 percent. Of the state's portion, municipalities are required to contribute 25 percent. That leaves towns responsible for only 8.75 percent of the total cost for subsequent projects.

Two other projects, Long Beach Island and Margate-Longport, look to be on a similar schedule. A project from Ocean City to Sea Isle City may be slightly ahead in the process, with working possibly starting after Labor Day.

In announcing his "schedule for critical Army Corps beach and dune construction projects that will reduce risk to lives, properties and infrastructure by rebuilding 44 miles of New Jersey coastline and providing the state with the most comprehensive and continuous coastal protection system it has ever had," Christie released the following estimated project dates in October:

Southern Ocean City, Upper Township, and Sea Isle City portions of the
Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Townsends Inlet project area 
  • Project agreement: December 2013 
  • Projected construction start: March 2014

Longport and Margate portions of Absecon Island within the Brigantine
Inlet to Cape May Inlet project area 
  • Project agreement: January 2014 
  • Projected construction start: April 2014

Beach Haven, Long Beach Township and Ship Bottom on the Long Beach Island portion of the Little Egg Inlet project area 
  • Project agreement: January 2014 
  • Projected construction start: April 2014

Bay Head, Berkeley, Brick, Lavallette, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach,
Toms River, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park within the Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet project area 
  • Project agreement: March 2014 
  • Projected construction start: June 2014
Ken January 09, 2014 at 07:23 PM
Typical government, too big, too slow
Glenn January 10, 2014 at 02:14 PM
So we can expect to be unprotected for another hurricane season?
Beach Mover January 10, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Glenn I understand they are still doing the steel wall in Feb. That will only protect to about 6th Avenue in Normandy. It should, almost surely stop a breach like occured at Mantoloking Bridge.
YouSuck January 10, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Come on Ducey, get going. Fix the Beach. What are you waiting for.
jack cee January 14, 2014 at 01:08 PM
They took the wall down by the bridge o the rich owner could get to the property........

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