A plan to step down a planned steel wall near the Toms River border has some Brick residents concerned that area will remain vulnerable in the event of another 100-year storm.
"I don't think it's fair," said Brick resident Richard Gross, who addressed Robert Mainberger, an engineer who is working with the project, and David Rosenblatt, a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection representative. Both men appeared at the Brick Council meeting this week to discuss the plans.
Mainberger said the conceptual plan for the $40 million steel wall, which would serve as a last line of defense in future storms, has been approved by the
Army Corps of Engineers. It would run from Mantoloking into Brick, but would "step down" about a foot at a time from elevation 12 to elevation 9, about seven homes from the Toms River border.
Toms River will not be getting the wall, because state officials approved the project largely based on its ability to protect Route 35 should another storm like Sandy hit this area. Mantoloking and Brick are the narrowest points between the ocean and roadway on the barrier island, making that area the most vulnerable.
The steel sheets will be placed before the Army Corps of Engineers' planned dune replenishment project. The sheets will stand at elevation 16, and extend about 32 feet below sea level. They would be covered over by sand from the the Corps beach project.
"It's designed essentially to provide 100-year storm protection at its worse case scenario," Mainberger told the audience at the Brick meeting.
Addressing Gross' and some other residents concerns, Mainberger said, "I understand the concern, when you hear every is getting 16 ... but even at elevation 9 the
wall is still significant protection."
Councilman Domenick Brando added, "at Normandy, the elevation starts to go up there. You could even see during Sandy, that our Normandy was destroyed, and parts of [Toms River] got nothing."