Army Corps of Engineers contractors finished work Tuesday (May 28) on a beach replenishment project in Ocean City that stretched about 2.3 miles — from Seaspray Road to 14th Street.
Crews are working now to remove equipment and a pipeline that runs most of the length of the project area. They should be done by the weekend.
The project was part of a regularly scheduled series of beach maintenance projects for north-end and downtown beaches, but the work took on a special urgency in the wake of the Oct. 29 Superstorm Sandy, which wiped dune systems and left protective "geotubes" entirely exposed in some areas.
A 309-foot dredge operated by the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill., sits about a half-mile off Surf Road beach in Ocean City near the mouth of Great Egg Harbor Inlet and was the source for the more than 1.8 million cubic yards of sand that was pumped onto Ocean City beaches. Work began in February. (See more photos of the various stages of the project.)
The cost for the original project prior to Superstorm Sandy was about $11 million, of which the federal government was responsible for 65 percent, the state Department of Environmental Protection 26.25 percent and the city 8.75 percent.
But supplemental Sandy disaster assistance funds added about $7 million to the contract to buy sand lost to the storm at 100 percent federal cost.
The work fell within a federally approved project area that extends to 34th Street.
City administrators are hoping to secure a separate replenishment project for beaches between 34th and 59th streets.
In the meantime, the city paid an outside contractor (South State, Inc., of Bridgeton) $1.1 million to haul 90,000 cubic yards of new sand to the southern beaches between 49th Street and 57th Street. That work was completed before Memorial Day Weekend.
Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said work will resume to bring new sand to the beaches between 57th and 59th streets.
A staging area at the end of Central Avenue near 59th Street that had recently been home to massive mounds of sand has been cleared and resurfaced for use as a parking lot.
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