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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers anticipates beach replenishment on Long Beach Island will begin in March, and should be completed in June. Contractor Weeks Marine Inc. must complete a project in Brigantine before moving its equipment to the Island, and because this initial project was delayed due to weather, the start of the LBI work has been pushed back by a month.

Cranford-based Weeks Marine was the low bidder for the Island restoration – a $34 million base bid and $40 million for base plus contract options – and beat out Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., Manson Construction Co. and the Dutra Group.

Beachfill work on the Island will include Harvey Cedars, Surf City and from 31st to 57th streets in the Brant Beach section of Long Beach Township. “We don’t have a sequence identified yet for LBI, but will work out those details with our contractor at a pre-construction meeting,” said USACE Public Affairs Officer Steve Rochette.

In November 2016, contractor Great Lakes completed replenishment operations in Holgate, marking the conclusion of initial construction of the Island’s dune and berm system. The entire project area then became eligible for the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program funds.

As Rochette explained, “The way this works: After a significant storm event, we conduct a damage assessment and determine whether the project is eligible based on certain criteria. This program is national and funds repairs to projects across the country, so if the project has been approved and if there’s adequate funding available, we would move forward to repair the project or portions of the project.”

Following storms in October 2015 and January 2016, Harvey Cedars, Surf City and the aforementioned stretch of Brant Beach were deemed eligible for replenishment; however, there was not adequate funding in the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program at the time.

This rehabilitation project, though, was later allotted appropriations through the program, provided by Congress through Public Law 114-254 (Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act 2017).

While those three areas will see replenishment soon, the entirety of the project will continue to be surveyed on a routine basis, in addition to undergoing evaluation following any significant storm events. —J.K.-H.