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Sandy projects continue, two years later

The start of a steel sheet pilings project for Mantoloking and Brick is one of several coastal endeavors the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has to remediate after Superstorm Sandy.

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Aerial shot of Mantoloking, NJ (John Moore, Getty Images)

With the Army Corps of Engineers expected to begin a federal dune replenishment program for the state’s coast, four coastal projects are currently underway as well, “including LBI, Absecon Island, and a project in Monmouth County will also be going on,” said DEP commissioner Bob Martin, who noted Mantoloking has the only sheet piling operation in the state.

The Mantoloking-Brick project will drive 45-foot-long steel pilings into a four-mile stretch, creating a barrier on which dunes will be built.

While the sheet piling project should be completed by the fall of 2014, Martin said it could take two years for the coastal projects to be finished.

“We think that by end of 2016, we’ll have all of the projects done,” he said, “and the full coastline has been built up with all the necessary revetments and the full replenishment of the beaches.”

In addition to the coastal projects, Martin said the DEP is continuing the “Blue Acres” program, buying out properties in flood-prone areas.

Sayreville, South River, Old Bridge, we got a large list of homes we’re going to end up buying, around 1,300 homes at the end of the day,” he said.

Though it’s been almost two years since Sandy hit, many of these programs are just getting underway or picking up steam now. Martin said it’s something all states are dealing with.

“There’s a lot of federal bureaucracy that’s got to get through,” he said. “HUD has made it very challenging to get through that, so has FEMA and the Army Corps.”

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