Final beach replenishment phase slated to begin in March
The final phase of a post-Sandy beach replenishment project from Sea Bright to Manasquan will kick off in March with an $87 million price tag.
New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) says the project is part of the Sandy aid package that will not only restore beaches in Elberon, Deal, Loch Arbor and Allenhurst, but also make them wider. He says that also insulates inland infrastructure.
"The reason that we do this is that it actually saves the federal government money," Pallone said.
According to Pallone, the first phase is almost done, that basically goes from Deal Lake north to Phillips Avenue Beach, and takes in all of Loch Arbor, Allenhurst and most of Deal. Pallone said the final phase now being rolled out will take place this spring and summer in the area from Deal north into the Elberon section of Long Branch.
"This is the last phase, if you will, of the beach replenishment after Sandy that has never been done before, and we are happy that we are able to do it with federal dollars that comes from the Sandy aid package," Pallone said.
According to the congressman, the beaches will now be 100 to 200 feet wide, saving future federal money.
He said if there is another storm, the federal government will not have to go back and spend all of the money on fixing up boardwalks and streets and roads and utilities that get heavily damaged any time that we have a major storm like Sandy.
Pallone said lawmakers went to Washington D.C. to fight for the money for this phase of the replenishment, part of the original Sandy aid package.
The congressman said at the time, it was hard to get some of the congressmen from the west, midwest and the south to support the Sandy package as a whole, "but I was very critical of the fact that they wouldn't vote for it, given the fact that we over the years from New Jersey have voted for all kinds of tornado and drought, and other, you know, Katrina and other hurricanes over the years."
"There certainly was an anti-New York/New Jersey bias amongst some members from the south and the west," Pallone said.
This final phase of the replenishment project is due to be completed by next August.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5