Ocean City’s South End Beaches to Get a Do-Over

first_imgA relentless northeast wind had begun to blow in late September in the final days of a long-awaited Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project between 37th Street and 59th Street.The gale intensified over the first week of October and by the time it passed, much of the 1.5 million cubic yards of sand pumped onto the eroded south end beaches had disappeared.But Ocean City learned Monday that the Army Corps will restore what was lost. Ocean City will receive an additional 323,000 cubic yards in a project expected to start by late winter.A second piece of good news: The sand will come from Corson’s Inlet, which is largely unnavigable due to shoaling.A Monday news release from the Army Corps of Engineers is as follows:The U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Philadelphia District announced today that it has renegotiated its contract with the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to permit restoration of beaches in Sea Isle City, Strathmere, and southern Ocean City.Great Lakes had just finished a major beachfill in these communities this fall when a major storm hit and severely eroded the beaches. The Army Corps and its partner in the beachfill project, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, set about finding a way to repair the damage under the existing contract with Great Lakes.Under the terms of the deal announced today, Great Lakes will pump approximately one million cubic yards of additional sand on to the beaches, beginning in January. The additional cost, $15.8 million, will be borne entirely by the federal government, as was the original beachfill.The sequence of work is expected to be Strathmere (a section of Upper Township) , Sea Isle City and then Ocean City. Strathmere will receive an estimated 335,000 cubic yards, Sea Isle City 365,000, and Ocean City 323,000. The sand will come from the Corson’s Inlet borrow area.The work is expected to be completed by April 2016.The original project, known as the Great Egg to Townsend’s Inlet Beachfill, had long been authorized but was not funded until Congress approved a special relief act in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The act provided for 100 percent federal funding of previously authorized but unconstructed beach projects.Renourishment projects on a three-year cycle at the south end will be funded 50 percent by the federal government, 50 percent by the State of New Jersey, which in turn requires the municipalities to shoulder 25 percent of the state’s cost, or 12.5 percent of the total.The local cost share for the south end is slightly higher than the cost share for north end projects negotiated in the early 1990s. That split is 65 percent federal government and 35 percent state (with Ocean City footing 25 percent of the state’s tab, or 8.75 percent of the total project cost). In October 2015, storm surf from a northeast gale encroaches on a new split-rail fence at 57th Street in Ocean City less than a week after it was installed.last_img