Brick, already protected by a sea wall, will have to wait until 2018 for a beach replenishment project that will finally cover it in sand and prevent the scouring that occurs during storms.
State officials announced the full schedule for beach replenishment on Ocean County’s northern barrier island Friday. The project will begin in vulnerable Ortley Beach and end in Brick and the Normandy Beach portion of Toms River. Some officials had feared Brick would be one of the last communities to receive the engineered beaches and 22 foot-high dunes because a second measure of protection against storms – the sea wall – is already in place.
Mayor John Ducey said he was disappointed with the work schedule.
“We are nearly five years removed from Sandy and the residents of Brick have been waiting for this project,” said Ducey. “We have many people that voluntarily signed easements and have fully cooperated with the NJDEP and Army Corps. It does not sit well that there are holdouts that will be replenished before the vulnerable beaches in Brick. Every storm, the steel wall is exposed and takes more of a beating and ultimately will not last as long as predicted by the state.”
The project contractor, Weeks Marine, will start pumping sand in Ortley Beach in mid-April, marking the start of work on northern Ocean County’s beaches, hammered by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a $128 million project to build beaches and dunes in northern Ocean County.
The schedule for the replenishment is largely driven by where the sand is coming from, township officials said. All of the sand comes from “borrow” sites where a dredge boat scours the bottom of the ocean, then sends the sand through a network of pipes onto the beach. There are four approved borrow sites for the project and the distance from the beaches to the borrow sites determines what equipment is needed. Brick Township’s section requires a hopper dredge and will be the second area done with this equipment.
While Ducey said he appreciates the logistical requirements of the project, he is disappointed that Brick Township will remain vulnerable until December.
“From a technical perspective, we understand the equipment needs and proximity to borrow sites, but to have communities on either side receiving sand and we are not receiving it until after the 2017 hurricane season makes no sense.”
Brick Township’s project will require 1.6 million cubic yards of sand. When underway, the contractor will complete approximately 100 to 200 linear feet a day. A buffer of 1,000 feet to the north and south will be closed to the public while the project is being done.
The full schedule for the project is as follows:
- Ortley Beach (Initial beach fill): Mid-April 2017 through late April 2017
- Mantoloking: Early July 2017 through September 2017
- Seaside Heights: Late September 2017 through October 2017
- Seaside Park: Late October 2017 through late December 2017
- Ortley Beach (Completion): Mid-October 2017 to mid-December 2017
- Brick: Winter 2018
- Normandy Beach (Toms River): Winter 2018
- Lavallette: Spring 2018