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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2014

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

BRICK-MANTOLOKING SHEET PILE PROJECT RESUMES TODAY
FINAL STEEL SHEETS OF COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION PROJECT TO BE COMPLETED EARLY NEXT WEEK, FOLLOWING ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIE

(14/P138) TRENTON – The final stage of work has resumed on a coastal steel sheet pile project designed to protect Brick and Mantoloking, and particularly Route 35, after it was determined by an archaeological investigation that the project will not negatively impact the historical remains of an old wooden sailing vessel discovered under the sand during sheet pile driving in late October.

The archaeological probe also determined that the location of the historical find would not impact the designed alignment of the steel wall.

A 200-foot section of the 3.5-mile steel sheet project had been cordoned off after work crews encountered the subsurface wooden vessel while driving steel in the Normandy Beach section of Brick in late October. With work resuming today, the final steel sheets are expected to be driven into sand early next week.

“We are pleased that the results of this investigation will allow us to complete the driving of steel within a matter of days, without impacting the remains of the vessel,” Commissioner Martin said. “This project will protect a vulnerable segment of New Jersey’s coastline and will complement a new dune system to be constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

Superstorm Sandy extensively damaged and breached this section of the northern Ocean County barrier island, putting Route 35, a vital artery, out of service for many months and resulting in massive destruction of property in the two towns.

Following the recent historical find, a maritime archaeologist was hired by the DEP to pinpoint the location of the buried remains and ensure proper treatment as required by federal law.

The geophysical testing did not identify any shipwreck-type anomalies within the designed sheet wall alignment. As a result, installation of the remaining steel sheets – only about 300 linear feet in total – have resumed under the supervision of a maritime archaeologist.

Archaeological work, conducted by Dewberry, included research, field documentation of timbers and materials unearthed from the site, and damage assessment. Ground-penetrating radar was used to identify the location and orientation of the wreck. Last week, DEP geologists used electrical resistivity to detect and map subsurface patterns and employed a Geoprobe, a hydraulic machine that drives 2-inch steel boring rods into the ground.

The archaeological investigation is required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, which mandates that projects receive federal funds consider impacts to historic properties. The Federal Highway Administration is funding 80 percent of the $23.8 million project.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is recommending to FHWA that the Geoprobe work continue this month to identify the limits of the structure. A final draft report by the maritime archaeologist will be submitted to SHPO and FHWA within 12 months.

Work on the Brick-Mantoloking sheet pile project began in July. The driving of all 45-feet marine-grade sheet piling had been completed in Mantoloking in early October. After the steel sheets are driven into the sand they are covered with an epoxy-coated steel cap, including a 10-foot wide geo-textile sour apron. The capping of the entire project is about 80 percent complete.

EIC Associates of Springfield Township in Union County is installing the steel sheets through a publicly bid contract with the state. The completed sheet piling project will be incorporated into a dune system as part of a storm damage reduction project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DEP that will provide protection for nine Ocean County municipalities on the peninsula hard hit by Sandy.
For a DEP Bureau of Coastal Engineering power point presentation on the project, visit
www.state.nj.us/dep/docs/bulkhead-present.pdf

For more on the DEP’s Bureau of Coastal Engineering visit:
www.nj.gov/dep/shoreprotection/index.html

For more on the state’s Route 35 Reconstruction Project, visit: www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552013/approved/20130702b.html

For more on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment program in northern Ocean County, visit: www.nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Factsheets/FactSheetArticleView/tabid/4694/Article/6450/new-jersey-shore-protection-manasquan-inlet-to-barnegat-inlet-nj.aspx

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Last Updated: December 12, 2014