Parts Of Atlantic City Beaches Will Be Closed For Holiday Weekend [AUDIO]
With the unofficial start of the summer tourist season just a couple of days away, Atlantic City tourism officials are getting the news they didn't want to hear.
A 7-block stretch of beach will be closed for at least another month, as Department of Environmental Protection officials scramble to complete a rock wall jetty project out in the ocean.
DEP spokesman Larry Hajna says over the past couple of months, there's been a lot of rough weather along the coast - and that delayed the Army Corps of Engineers from completing a sand replenishment project in AC, so work to reinforce the rock jetties, that help to prevent erosion, was delayed.
"We're looking at completing our phase of the project June 28th. It's an off-shore breakwater to add additional protection in that area. So one project had to precede the other and that's why there's been a delay."
He says, "Hopefully it's not going to be a big deal. We're looking at in this area, a stretch of about 6 or 7 blocks will be closed for at least the beginning of the season. We've been in touch with the city about this and they're fully apprised. They understand what's going on. It was really an unavoidable situation that was created by weather."
Hajna adds, "This is really a safety issue…the beaches have to be closed because we have a lot of equipment on the beaches, there's trucks moving in and out, there's rocks -we're going to work as quickly as possible but we also have to do it safely. These are big rocks; big boulders that have to be moved out and placed into the water - and you have heavy equipment, you have the rocks being moved in by trucks…but it's important to know the Boardwalk will remain open in that stretch…and noise levels really shouldn't be that much of an issue…but people will be restricted from going into that area."
"We regret the fact that it's going to be on the Memorial Day target date that we were hoping to reach for the completion of this project, but we don't expect this to be a long-term problem."