After weeks of staging equipment, construction of a steel wall along Brick Township’s oceanfront is slated to begin this week.
The state’s contractor, EIC Associates of Springfield, Union County, had set Aug. 20 as the date on which the sheet pile wall would begin to be driven into the sand in Brick. The $23.8 million project began last month in Mantoloking and officials say the installation is on schedule. For weeks, crews have been staging equipment at Brick Beach III and Bayview Park in Brick in anticipation of the start of installation in Brick.
“We are looking to mobilize a third rig near the border of Brick and Toms River at about Aug. 20,” an EIC Associates representative told Shorebeat. The installation work will begin at the southern end of Brick and crews will work northward until they meet another crew working southward from Mantoloking.
During construction, the crews will work from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., said Eric Doyle, an engineer with the state Department of Environmental Protection. They will work on 500 foot-long swaths of beach at a time, completing about 150 feet per day.
During that time, certain beach entrances may be closed as equipment is being moved along the sand, officials have said, but they will only be off-limits for a few minutes at a time. Entire portions of the beach may be fully closed when the actual installation work is occurring. Such closers will be likely last no more than two to three days.
The wall be constructed 30 feet underground and 15 feet above ground, 45 feet in all. Eventually, the wall will be covered by sand dunes and will be invisible to beachgoers. At the southern end of the project, at the border of Brick and Toms River in Normandy Beach, the height of the wall will be gradually stepped down to a height as short as six feet in order to better protect adjacent properties.
The dune and beach replenishment project, which is separate from the steel wall revetment and is being headed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will not begin until next year, officials told Shorebeat last week. The steel wall will be capped with a round surface in the mean time, and in case the wall is ever revealed during a future storm.
The wall, officials have said, will protect the barrier island and the rebuilt Route 35 in future storms from ocean breaches by acting as a last means of protection in the case that dunes are whittled away by waves. A breach in Mantoloking during Superstorm Sandy has often been blamed for massive flooding that occurred on both sides of Barnegat Bay.