ATLANTIC CITY AND VENTNOR $18 MILLION BEACH REPLENISHMENT PROJECT BEGINS; IMPROVED BEACHES TO BE READY FOR SUMMER TOURISM SEASON
(12/P24) TRENTON - A major beach replenishment project is expected to start this weekend in Atlantic City and Ventnor that will protect these vital tourist communities from the effects of extreme weather while restoring storm-damaged beaches in time for the coming summer season, providing an environmental and economic boost to the state's leading resort, Commissioner Bob Martin said today.
The $18 million project, partly financed by the state's Shore Protection Fund, is designed to reconstruct beaches and dunes from the Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City to Fredricksburg Avenue at the border of Ventnor and Margate.
The 5.1-mile project, to be done by the Army Corps of Engineers, also will include reconstruction of pedestrian and vehicle beach crossovers, repair of handicap dune crossovers, planting of dune and beach grasses, and erection of sand fencing. In addition, there will be stormwater outfall system improvements at three locations in Atlantic City: New Jersey Avenue, just north of the Steel Pier, and in front of the Resorts Casino.
"This project will ensure great beaches for people who visit Atlantic City this summer, allowing them to fully enjoy all aspects of this exciting city,'' said Commissioner Martin. "It is part of the Christie Administration's commitment to Atlantic City's continued success as a vibrant national destination for tourism and recreation.''
"In addition, the project also offers very important shoreline protection for homes, businesses, roads and infrastructure from high tides, storm surges and potential flooding, while creating habitats for plant and animal species that live along our coast,'' added Commissioner Martin.
The project will not affect beach use during the busy summer season. The contractor will not perform any work on the beach from June 29 to Sept. 5, and will return in October to complete the beach grass and dune plantings.
"I'm excited we are set to begin the first full-scale renourishment of the Atlantic City and Ventnor City coastal area since 2004," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Philip M. Secrist. "The project was designed and constructed in partnership with the DEP, and will continue to reduce storm damages to the infrastructure in these vital New Jersey coastal communities. Based on Corps estimates, the project has already prevented millions of dollars of damage from the recent Irene and Lee coastal storms alone."
The work is jointly financed by the federal government, DEP, and local municipalities. The federal government is funding 65 percent of the project, or $11.7 million. The DEP is paying about 25 percent, or $4.3 million, through the state's Shore Protection Fund. Local governments are sharing about 10 percent of the costs, with Atlantic City paying $1.1 million and Ventnor providing $525,000.
"The beach replenishment project helps Atlantic City maintain our pristine beaches, thus providing millions of beachgoers with an enjoyable and memorable experience while visiting the 'World Famous Playground,''' said Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo T. Langford. "Beach replenishment is vital to Atlantic City on many levels and we welcome the opportunity to work with the DEP and Army Corps on this important project."
The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the upcoming Atlantic City and Ventnor beach replenishment and improvement project to Weeks Marine via a public bidding process.
The project will require placing 1 million cubic yards of beach fill in Atlantic City and 325,000 cubic yards of beach fill in Ventnor. Total pumping time for sand replenishment is expected to be 40 days in Atlantic City and 30 days in Ventnor, with crossover and outfall work following each approved section of the beach replenishment work.
The State and Army Corps will have inspectors at the site full time during the pumping operation to oversee the project.
The Shore Protection Fund, created by the state Legislature, provides $25 million annually for a continuing series of shoreline projects designed to protect existing development and infrastructure from storm surges, sea-level rise and shoreline migration through dune creation and maintenance, beach nourishment projects, and construction and repair of shore protection structures.
The Army Corps is currently working on a major storm reduction project on Long Beach Island which historically faces significant storm damage from hurricanes and nor-easters. That project runs from Barnegat Inlet to Little Egg Harbor Inlet and includes work done since 2007 in Surf City and Harvey Cedars, and with replenishment work to start soon in Brant Beach.
For more information on the Army Corp's continuing Long Beach Island beach replenishment effort please visit: http://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Projects/LBI/index.htm