Monmouth Beach Replenishment Work Starts
New beach replenishment work will begin in central Monmouth County on Saturday, while at the other end of the Jersey shore, federal officials are contemplating building dunes for the Wildwoods.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to start a beach restoration project from Asbury Park to Avon. The $18.3 million project is being paid for out of Superstorm Sandy relief funds approved by Congress.
"Our beaches are a fundamental part of life on the shore, both for residents to enjoy and as drivers of tourism and our local economy," said U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. "I have fought for this and other beach replenishment funding for years because I know how important it is to protect some of our most fragile coastal infrastructure."
Pallone, a Democrat, said the project will restore beaches in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach and Avon to better conditions than they were in before Sandy hit in Oct. 2012.
The project is part of a larger coastline restoration covering a majority of the beaches from Sea Bright to Manasquan. It is the largest beach replenishment project ever undertaken by the Army Corps.
It is designed to create a wider protective barrier between the coastal communities and the ocean to reduce the risk of flooding and storm-related damage.
Work in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach is finished, and replenishment in Long Branch and in the stretch of coast from Belmar to Manasquan has begun. A stretch of the coast from the Elberon section of Long Branch to Loch Arbour will take place this fall.
At the southern end of the shore, the Army Corps is considering building dunes as part of a beach project in Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. That $21.8 million project is still in the discussion phase.
The proposal calls for a 16-foot-high dune from Hereford Inlet in North Wildwood to Cape May Inlet. An option for the plan also calls for an elevated sand berm in some places.
The Corps would use sand from the beaches in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, which are naturally widening by 18 to 25 feet a year in some spots due to the tidal drift of sand, to create a dune and a sand berm in North Wildwood, and dunes in Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Lower Township.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)