A major beach nourishment project that will repair the beachfront in Avalon and Stone Harbor is expected to get underway right before the Christmas holiday. A dredge that will pump up to 710,000 thousand cubic yards on the beaches in both communities is expected to begin on or about Sunday, December 23rd. This project has been authorized by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and will repair the beachfront that was damaged during Hurricane Irene in August, 2011 and by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.
The Army Corps held a partnering meeting with officials from both communities on Wednesday, December 19th in Avalon. The Corps announced that emergency funding has been secured that will result in extra sand being placed on the beachfront that will restore sections of both beaches that were impacted during Hurricane Sandy in late October. During the summer of 2012, the Corps had agreed to a beach fill project to restore beaches in Avalon and Stone Harbor that were damaged during Hurricane Irene. Since the dredge will already in place for that project, the Corps will begin negations with the contractor to place even more sand on the beaches for repairs incurred by Hurricane Sandy.
"Both Avalon and Stone Harbor are extraordinarily fortunate to have had this project secured and under contract well before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy", said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. "The dredge that was contracted to be in place to repair damage from Irene can also repair damage from Sandy. This not only guarantees both communities will have a protective and recreational beach for 2013, but will free up the dredge for other essential beach fill projects that are needed in other parts of the State of New Jersey".
On December 19th, officials from the Army Corps announced that several options requested by both communities for additional sand to repair beaches damaged by Hurricane Irene have been secured and added to the contract. The Army Corps also announced that they will begin negotiations immediately with Norfolk Dredging Company for the extra volumes of sand needed to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy.
"Stone Harbor and Avalon have invested heavily for decades into our comprehensive beach and dune management program", said Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters. "This investment resulted in a tremendous level of protection to both communities during Hurricane Sandy. This beach project will restore the level of protection for both communities in advance of next year's storm season".
Norfolk's dredge "Charleston" is expected to arrive in Avalon during the upcoming weekend with sand being pumped on the beachfront starting on or about Sunday, December 23rd, weather conditions permitting. The dredge will continue to pump sand 24 hours a day, seven days a week including holidays. On February 6th, 2013, the operation will be suspended and moved to Fire Island, New York to conduct a mandatory beach nourishment project in that community. When that project is completed in the spring, the "Charleston" will come back to Avalon to finish work in that community before moving to Stone Harbor. If beach work in Avalon is concluded before February 6th, the dredge will return to New Jersey after the Fire Island project to begin or resume work immediately in Stone Harbor. The project will only be suspended in the Seven Mile Beach due to mechanical or weather-related issues before and after the Fire Island project.
Avalon's beach fill project will result in a potential total of 290,000 cubic yards of sand being placed on north end beaches from 9th Street south to 30th Street. Avalon will also receive 2,200 linear feet of new dune grass that will be planted from 9th Street south to 16th Street. Stone Harbor's beach fill project will result in a potential of 420,000 cubic yards of sand that will be placed on the beachfront from 98th Street south to the 123rd Street terminal groin.
The emergency funding will also finance dune work, dune grass plantings, sand fencing, and beach crossover work in the project area.
For more information, please visit www.avalonboro.org and www.stone-harbor.nj.us.