Contract For Last Portion Of Coastal Protection System

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 11, 2017

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Jersey Shore coastline

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $92 million contract for the last major portion of a coastal protection system along the Jersey Shore.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says constructing large, wide beaches along 14 miles of the Barnegat peninsula in Ocean County will prevent the kind of damage caused by Superstorm Sandy's storm surge.
Martin says 110  beachfront property owners in Bay Head, Mantoloking, and Point Pleasant Beach have still not granted easements needed for the dunes to be built.
"We put those as options to the contract, which means it's a still part of the contract, it's already being scheduled, and as we get we get the easements from those people that are holdouts we'll be able to continue on with the full project."
Martin says the state is aggressively pursuing eminent domain proceedings to obtain those easements.

“It’s very disappointing that we still have people who are that selfish that won’t think about their neighbors. They may have the great view, but a lot of the homes that were damaged, water came over the top of and through the dunes and went to those homes in the back and destroyed a lot of those homes.”

Brick Township Mayor John Ducey says he hopes the project will prevent the kind of damage that occurred when Sandy pushed ocean water into portions of the town.

"We had breaches that went right from the ocean, waves were meeting with the bay in our streets. So my understanding from the engineers is with this engineered project that cannot happen again and will not happen again."

The Ortley Beach section of Toms River was one of the areas devastated by Sandy, and Mayor Tom Kelaher has been pushing for the coastal protection project.

"When we see than sand coming up onto Ortley Beach I'm going to show up with a case of Champagne and we're going to toast the project with the long-suffering residents of Ortley Beach just to celebrate four years of perseverance and let them know that we've accomplished our mission."


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