Beachfill work and all demobilization are now expected to conclude by the end of March in Holgate and Beach Haven. Contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. originally anticipated wrapping up mid-month, but, as N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Press Officer Lawrence Hajna explained, “weather has pushed things back a bit.”
The $18.4 million contract awarded to Great Lakes involves clearing shoals from Little Egg Inlet, a major thoroughfare for boat traffic between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine, and replenishing some of the Island’s beaches with the sand.
“The project calls for dredging and placement of 700,000 cubic yards of sand, with an option for an additional 300,000 cubic yards if necessary,” said Hajna.
Great Lake’s hydraulic dredge Texas began replenishment work Jan. 18 in Beach Haven, pumping sand removed from the inlet onto the ocean beaches on LBI’s south end. Earlier this week, operations were near the border of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Holgate.
“This project is designed to have the multiple benefits of restoring beaches that are economically vital for shore tourism and storm protection while making it safe for boaters to again use Little Egg Inlet,” stated David Rosenblatt, DEP assistant commissioner for engineering and construction. “We look forward to having the project completed in time for the next tourism and boating season.”
The removal of sand from the inlet clears a navigable boat channel 1 mile long and 24 feet below mean sea level “to accommodate the numerous commercial and recreational fishing vessels, private boats and other craft that use the inlet to access Barnegat Bay, Great Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway,” the DEP noted.
Once the contract work and demobilization are complete, Beach Haven and Holgate will reinstall dune fencing, crossovers and dune grass. —J.K.-H.