NJ beach replenishment — what’s left ahead of summer
For the first summer in quite some time, the impact of beach replenishment projects on the general public will be minimal.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still working on beachfill efforts in northern Ocean County, but just a fraction of the project remains.
Sand placement, as of USACE's latest projected timetable, should wrap up in mid to late June in Bay Head and Point Pleasant Beach. Work was completed in the main section of Point Pleasant Beach on May 1; work south of Maryland Avenue will be completed in tandem with Bay Head.
Following sand placement, additional work on sand fencing and dune crossovers could take several weeks. But that's typically minor in scope and rarely inconveniences the public.
"Since Hurricane Sandy, we've certainly been working what seems like nonstop along the Jersey Shore," said Steve Rochette, pubic affairs officer with the USACE Philadelphia District.
This project, one of many handled by USACE along New Jersey's coast, has covered about 12 miles of coastline over the past two years.
Once fully completed, approximately 13 miles of coast along the Barnegat Peninsula will have received more than 11 million cubic yards of sand from approved borrow sites under the sea.
The project contractor, Weeks Marine Inc., uses multiple dredges to complete the work. Dunes are built to an elevation of 22 feet for most of the project area, and 18 feet at select locations.
"And then we're significantly widening the beach in front of that dune," Rochette said. "That's designed to act as a sacrificial buffer during storms. It also provides a wider recreational beach for visitors and residents alike."
To complete the work, the Army Corps closes off 1,000-foot sections of beach at a time.
"It's just a massive project ... and we just appreciate all of the towns and residents that have worked with us throughout the process," Rochette said.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.