Brick officials voted Tuesday night to grant a construction easement to crews that will eventually come to town as part of a beach replenishment project, which may be delayed by two more months compared to what was announced two weeks ago.
Mayor John Ducey said state Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Bob Martin told him the project would go out to bid in August – not June, as a different state official told the mayor previously.
The morning after he announced that the bids would go out in June, “At 9:30 I came in, and there was another phone call from someone at the state saying, ‘we’re going out to bid in August,'” said Ducey.
Ducey did say, however, that even with the bidding process beginning later that expected, the project’s start date may still occur in early 2017, as expected.
“We need it to happen as soon as possible,” Ducey said.
The project will build 22 foot, vegetated dunes and safely-designed access points to ocean beaches between Manasquan Inlet and Island Beach State Park. A beach berm of at least 200 feet will be built in front of the protective dune. The project has been held up by oceanfront homeowners who refuse to sign easements allowing the work to go forward in areas where slivers of dune are privately owned. Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge Marlene Lynch Ford ruled that it was appropriate for municipalities to use eminent domain to take the easements.
The project is funded and managed through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The easement granted by the township council Tuesday night allows workers to stage materials and utilize Brick’s beaches for entranceways to perform the work required.