Ortley Beach, Toms River Beach Replenishment Slated for Fall Construction – Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat
Beach replenishment along Toms River Township’s beaches – most critically required in Ortley Beach – is likely to begin this fall, officials said Wednesday.
Under an agreement signed after Superstorm Sandy, the federal government pledged to keep up the region’s beaches for 50 years, with renourishments occurring every seven years or after severe weather events. Work had been scheduled for 2022 in keeping with the schedule, however congressional funding was in doubt until it was approved in a pair of bills passed last week. Now, officials are getting to work engaging with their state and federal counterparts to plan the project, which has yet to be placed out for bid.
Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill said it appears, at present, that the project will get underway in the latter portion of 2022, likely in the fall.
“The project will be scheduled late in 2022,” Hill said. “There are only two companies nationwide that do it.”
Indeed, the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company and Weeks Marine largely represent a duopoly on major dredging and replenishment projects on the U.S. east coast. The companies are contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The federal government provides the vast amount of the funding for renourishments, with the rest followed by state funding and a minimal local share.
Ocean County is located within the Army Corps’ Philadelphia district while Monmouth County is within the New York district. With federal funding approved, the two regions will both be seeking resources to improve beaches. The New York region has dredge boats already scheduled to perform work in the spring.
“So we will be on the schedule for the fall,” said Hill, of Toms River and other municipalities within the Philadelphia district.
The upcoming beach renourishment project is particularly important for some areas of the local oceanfront, especially Ortley Beach and Bay Head, which have continued to suffer beach erosion following the completion of the initial project (though the dunes themselves have never come close to being breached). The next round of the project will take into account the unique features of certain areas and engineer them in a “bespoke” manner that will make those beaches more resilient and adapted to their natural flows and contours.