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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Steve Schapiro
Daniel Triana
RELEASE: October 18, 2018

Dredging of the Metedeconk River/Kettle Creek Complex begins to restore state channels to navigable depths in Ocean County

Boaters to have renewed safe navigation channels and state of good repair

(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced the start of navigation dredging in the Metedeconk River/Kettle Creek Complex, located in Ocean County.

The dredging work is part of a $16 million project to continue returning State channels in Barnegat Bay to a state of good repair. This project includes dredging shoals in the following channels to their authorized depth: Upper Metedeconk River Channel (6ft.), Green Cove Channel (5ft), Beaver Damn Creek North and South (5ft.), Bay Head Channel, Winter Yacht Basin, Kettle Creek-Sailors Quay (5 ft.) and Kettle Creek (5ft.) with one foot of allowable over-dredge, respectively. These channels were severely impacted, creating shoals and limiting navigation, by Superstorm Sandy. This project will create renewed safe navigation, and maintain these Barnegat Bay Channels in a state of good repair.  The project is anticipated to last through December 31, 2019. 

NJDOT’s contractor, H&L Contracting, will be mechanically dredging the channels. An estimated 180,000 cubic yards will be removed taken by barge to the placement location known as Dredge Hole 18 (DH18).  DH18 is off the coast of Mantoloking’s Bayside Park and the final material placed on top will include material with the highest sand content in an effort to restore the area and allow for recruitment of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV).    

Mobilization of equipment is taking place now, dredging operations are expected to begin October 22 and will continue 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week through the end of December 2018. Channel use may be limited where the excavator barges are located. Channel closures are not expected, although this is subject to change.

Mariners should be advised that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) will be removed as necessary for the duration of the project.  All mariners, including those utilizing human powered craft, should be especially alert to project equipment much of which will be continuously moving. Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.

The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the construction equipment, buoys, barges and other equipment during this time. NJDOT asks that no one approach the construction site or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed. Boaters should proceed through dredging maintenance and construction zones with the utmost caution.  No wake speed should be observed in active work zones throughout the project duration. 

Since shortly after Superstorm Sandy, in March 2014 the NJDOT announced a comprehensive State Channel Dredging and Emergency Response Program to ensure and maintain safe navigation statewide, and to continue to be able to respond adequately to waterway impacts from named storms. 

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  October 19, 2018