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Extra Sand On The Way to Rebuild Ocean City Beaches

Emergency federal funding and an Ocean City ordinance will help rebuild beaches and dunes.

An influx of emergency funding to the Army Corps of Engineers will help rebuild severely eroded beaches in Ocean City in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

An already-approved beach-widening project is now scheduled to start in mid-February. It was designed to cover beaches from the north end of the island to about 12th or 13th Street.

The new funding — announced to Ocean City at a meeting in Brigantine on Tuesday — would add to the 1 million cubic yards already approved for the project. It would not ony replace sand eroded by the storm, but return the height and width of north-end beaches to the profile when the original replenishment project was completed.

The new funding would likely allow the city to extend the scope of the project beyond 13th Street to the central parts of the island within the federally approved area up to 36th Street.

The new money is also "a positive as to the possibility of a south-end project," according to Business Administrator Mike Dattilo.

The Army Corps had already approved a separate application for beach-widening between 36th and 59th streets long before Sandy struck. That project has been awaiting federal funding. 

A partnership between the state and the city to fund its own south-end project is still a possibility, Dattilo said.

"There are a lot of balls in the air on this entire subject," Dattilo said.

City Council on Thursday unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that approves $5.3 million in spending and $5 million in borrowing for Sandy repairs. The city expects to be reimbursed for 75 percent of the spending.

The $5.3 million includes $2,675,000 to rebuild dunes and replace dune fencing and dune plantings for the length of the island.

The plan includes trucking in 50,000 cubic yards of sand to help restore dunes between 50th and 59th streets, where they were entirely wiped out by the storm.

The Army Corps project does not include rebuilding Ocean City's dunes, but the city will be able to pay the Army Corps to replenish dunes at the north end during the beach-widening project. The ordinance includes appropriations to cover that cost.

The ordinance also includes spending for bayfront bulkhead repairs ($360,000), public buildings including City Hall ($2,050,000), the tennis courts at 34th Street ($175,000) and the parking lot at 59th Street ($30,000).

A second reading on the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Southender January 29, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Again the question that begs asking...if the dunes worked at the south end, where are they? I know where the sand, fences and the posts for those fences ended up. Everywhere but on the beach. If something works I believe that it should still be there. Oh that's right, I keep forgetting it was just a pile of sand with some dead sea grass in it, and when the tide surge came through it just washed away. Maybe for the future ,the focus should be on what we can do with the integrity of the bulk heads and the rocks that flank them. Keep in mind , insurance gives no discount for living behind the dune, so even they don't think it works......call your agent , you get a reduction the closer you are to the fire hydrant. Just some thoughts.
DSA January 31, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Dunes are part of protection but really not helpful if the beaches aren't long enough. Hopefully, as part of rebuilding and the relief pacakge the beaches the length of the island will be replenished. North to 36th are already set.

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