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Beach Replenishment Project to Go Out to Bid Soon; Brick Prepares Condemnations

A beach replenishment project in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. A similar project is being planned for Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

A beach replenishment project in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. A similar project is being planned for Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The beach replenishment project that will result in a protective dune being built from Manasquan Inlet to South Seaside Park, plus replenishment of beaches in between will go to bid in mid-t0-late December, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

Meanwhile in Brick, the township council has voted in favor of adding additional properties to its condemnation list after a review of which lots will be impacted by the project. The condemnation ordinance does not condemn entire properties, rather, it provides for the taking of small slivers of oceanfront sand that is required for the dune to be constructed.

“The reason we have another ordinance this year is because there are a few properties that were determined, in the past year, to need an easement and just weren’t included in last year’s ordinance,” said Council President Susan Lydecker.

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The township is still working with holdout property owners in order to avoid instituting the condemnations, Lydecker said.

The Army Corps project is expected to begin in either March or April 2015, officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection told Shorebeat recently.

“For the Manasquan to Barnegat project, we anticipate advertising the contract in mid-late December and then the bid opening would either be 30 or 60 days after the advertisement date,” said Stephen Rochette, spokesman for the Army Corps’ Philadelphia District, which oversees projects in Ocean County.

Last month, Business Administrator Joanne Bergin told Shorebeat that the township had 44 property owners who were refusing to sign the easements. The township’s financial risk in taking the plots of sand by eminent domain is relatively small, land use experts say, since the state Supreme Court last year threw out a $375,000 judgment given to a Harvey Cedars couple who had their easement land taken for a beach replenishment project in Long Beach Island. Under new rules that require juries to consider the dune protection as an added value, most similar takings have yielded no more than a few hundred dollars worth of compensation for homeowners. The Harvey Cedars case was eventually settled for $1.

The Army Corps replenishment project will result in 23 foot-high dunes being built along Brick’s oceanfront with a beach at least 200 feet in length. The project is separate from the steel wall revetment that is currently being built along the ocean – the dunes will ultimately cover the steel wall, which is 15 feet high and buried 30 feet underground.

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