Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 24, 2017

Avalon and Stone Harbor officials attended the weekly progress meeting on the Avalon and Stone Harbor beach fill project.  The project continues today in Stone Harbor and some touch up work in Stone Harbor’s initial phases of the beach fill will be completed today and the pipeline will then be moved to place sand in a northerly direction.  In the next two weeks, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company will begin mobilizing some pipeline and equipment to Avalon.  The Avalon portion of the project is expected to begin sometime during the second week of March, with March 15th being a potential target date.

At that point, the beach fill will start at 9th Street and progress southbound to the northerly limits of 30th Street.  Avalon will be getting 920,000 cubic yards of sand from Townsend’s Inlet, which will represent one of the largest beach fills in Borough history.  It is anticipated that Great Lakes will complete the initial phase of the Stone Harbor project in about a week’s time; at that point, the dredge will be moved to Townsend’s Inlet, subline placed, and work begins to prepare the Borough for its beach fill.

At any time, about 1,000 feet of beach will be closed to the public in the area where the sand is being pumped onto the beaches.  In Avalon, many of the dune crossover paths to the beach have been eliminated by prior coastal storms, so access to the beach is not possible.  During this project, various crossovers will be rebuilt to regain beach access.  Later in the project, dune grass will be planted.  The Avalon portion of the project is anticipated to take approximately 37 days.  When Avalon’s work is done, additional work is expected in Stone Harbor that could take until late May to mid June to complete.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 23, 2017

The beach fill project in Stone Harbor continues to make progress.  As of Wednesday, February 22nd, at 10:00pm, the southern most limit of the Stone Harbor project was complete.  The dredge remains near Stone Harbor with the work now progressing northbound from the landing zone of the dredge pipe.  Once the pipeline is established and filtration screens are in place, dredging will resume in a northerly direction on Stone Harbor’s southerly beaches.  Fencing is also being installed for the protection of the public and the crews.  Once this portion of the Stone Harbor project is completed, the dredge “Texas” will move to Townsend’s Inlet to conduct Avalon’s portion of the project from 9th Street south to the northerly limit of the 30th Street beach.  940,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed in Avalon.  About 1,000 feet of beach will be closed at any time.  Once the beach fill begins to move along the beachfront, blocks that were closed will open again with sand crossovers of the pipe being made available to the public to use the beach.  The Avalon portion of the project is estimated to take approximately 37 days.

A progress meeting will be held on Friday, February 24th where more information will be made available to the Borough.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 16th, 2017

The Seven Mile Beach Fill Project is officially underway.  The dredge “Texas” was moved in position and began the beach fill project then had to stop for a mechanical issue as the cutter head on the dredge became loose.  The dredge was taken back to Cape May, the repair was made, the dredge returned to near Stone Harbor.  The actual dredging of sand on Stone Harbor’s beaches began again on Thursday, February 16th, at 12:15am.  It has operated uninterrupted since then.  Approximately 400 feet of beachfront was filled by the dredge; this rate is accelerated at the beginning of a beach fill due to a “thin” layer of sand before a thicker beach is formed.  The southern Stone Harbor beach is being filled to the south, then the pipe is flipped to the north and will continue in a northerly direction for about three weeks.  At the conclusion of this portion of the Stone Harbor beach fill, the dredge moves to Townsend’s Inlet for the Avalon portion of the project.

Avalon’s portion of the project is anticipated to start in about three weeks, on or about March 10th-15th.  Avalon has received confirmation that 940,000 cubic yards of sand  will be placed on the beaches from 9th Street south to the northern limits of 30th Street.  This will be one of the largest beach fill projects in the Borough’s long history of beach maintenance.

At the weekly progress meeting, Stone Harbor brought up the issue of a polar plunge special event to be held on March 11th at the 96th Street beach, possibly close to the area where the dredge may be working, if the work continues in Stone Harbor until that date.  The USACOE confirmed that if participants enter the beach at 95th Street, there will be no conflict with the dredge project.

The Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection continue to work on issues involving the application of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act which prevents federal dollars from being used to remove sand from Hereford Inlet.  Both Avalon and Stone Harbor are in agreement that this has been misapplied and emergency provisions in the Act have been ignored.  The agencies continue to work on financial and sand volume issues.  As of now, sand for the second phase of Stone Harbor’s project would have to be removed from Townsend’s Inlet and pumped onto the Borough’s beaches via a submerged pipeline which adds millions of dollars in federal allocation to this project.  There is more than enough available sand in Hereford Inlet that would satisfy Stone Harbor’s portion of the project if CBRA was not applied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 13th, 2017

Due to strong winds associated with a departing storm, the dredge “Texas” was not in position near Hereford Inlet on Sunday due to safety concerns.  The High Wind Warning expires Monday, February 13th at which time the dredge will be positioned and the beach fill project is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, February 14th.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 9th, 2017

Municipal officials from both Avalon and Stone Harbor attended the weekly progress meeting on the upcoming Avalon and Stone Harbor beach fill project on February 9th at the Stone Harbor Fire Department.  Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC of Illinois has been awarded the contract to conduct the beach fill project for both communities.

The dredge “Texas” will be used to conduct this major resiliency project for the 7 Mile Island.  Due to the winter storm that brought high winds to the area on February 9th, the “Texas” is slightly delayed arriving in our area.  It is likely that the “Texas” will arrive in Cape May on Saturday, and be mobilized near Hereford Inlet on Sunday morning, February 12th, with dredging operations to begin on Sunday afternoon.  Various safety meetings and inspections will held in advance of the “Texas” pumping sand from the Inlet onto the southern Stone Harbor beachfront.

The beach fill project will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will only stop for unsafe weather conditions or mechanical failure.  A portion of the Stone Harbor beach fill will be held first and should take about a month to complete.  The dredge will then mobilize to Townsend’s Inlet near Avalon in the middle of March and will begin one of the largest beach fill projects in the Borough’s history.  This project will result in 940,000 cubic yards of sand being pumped onto the Avalon beachfront from 9th Street south to 30th Street.  This will repair exceptional sand loss that occurred during coastal storms from Fall, 2016 through the January, 2017 nor’easter event in Avalon.

The projected completion date of the Stone Harbor and Avalon beach fill project is anticipated to be on or about April 19th, 2017.  The United States Army Corps of Engineers is negotiating with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC on an additional portion of the project that would encumber emergency FCCE funding to place an additional 320,000 cubic yards of sand on Stone Harbor’s northern beaches and from 76th Street to 80th Street in Avalon.  If this portion of the project is awarded, the entire beach fill project would conclude on or about June 17th, 2017.  If this additional contract is awarded, a submerged pipeline would run out of Townsend’s Inlet with a landing zone south of 80th Street on the Avalon/Stone Harbor border due to the existence of hotels north of 80th Street in Avalon.  The only pipe that would be used on the beach for this additional project would extend from where the submerged pipe comes to shore.

Avalon will continue to provide updates on this beach fill project at least on a weekly basis and more frequently when warranted.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Update February 2nd, 2017

Officials from Avalon and Stone Harbor attended the weekly progress meeting for the upcoming beach fill project at the Stone Harbor Firehouse on Thursday, February 2nd.  In attendance from Avalon were Business Administrator Scott Wahl and Engineer Steve Morey from Mott MacDonald.  In attendance from Stone Harbor were Councilwomen Karen Lane and Joselyn Rich, Business Administrator Jill Gougher, Public Works Director Grant Russ, and Engineer Marc DiBlasio.  Representatives from the United States Army Corps of Engineers, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC were also in attendance.

The dredge “Texas” will be finishing up some emergency work in the Christiana River likely by Sunday, February 5th.  Once that work is completed, the “Texas” will make its way to Hereford Inlet near Stone Harbor to begin the actual beach fill work.  The anticipated start date of the actual dredging is February 12th, 2017.  The project will begin in Stone Harbor and pump sand from Hereford Inlet from the south end of Stone Harbor to 105th Street.  Then, the dredge will be mobilized to Townsend’s Inlet to conduct a major beach fill project in Avalon anticipated to run from 9th Street to the northern limits of 30th Street.

Stone Harbor’s initial portion of the project is anticipated to place 390,000 cubic yards of sand on the Borough’s beachfront.  If all of the options are awarded and emergency federal funding courtesy of FCCE is awarded in Avalon, Avalon’s base bid with all options will be in the neighborhood of 940,000 cubic yards.  Some additional federal emergency funding is likely going to be awarded that will the northern Stone Harbor beaches, along with Avalon’s beaches from 76th Street to 80th Street.  That will occur after the major Avalon beach fill and is dependent on a reasonable quote from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company; a quote for the work is expected in the coming days and will be presented to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Much heavy equipment will be arriving over the next couple of weeks, including the “Texas”.  A crew boat called “Swift Runner” will be arriving in Stone Harbor in the next few days.  Various bulldozers, excavators, anchor barges, etc. are arriving in Stone Harbor for the project.  When Avalon’s portion of the project begins, the likely staging areas for equipment will be near the 8th Street Jetty on the beach, and some equipment may be stored at the vehicular beach access path at 32nd Street, on the beach.  Avalon has asked Great Lakes not to use the northerly parking lot on the north side of Community Hall since it was recently repaved.

Approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of sand will be removed from Townsend’s Inlet during this project, with much of the sand being dedicated to the Avalon portion of the project, and the remaining sand to be used for the northerly limits of Stone Harbor’s beach fill.  There is adequate sand in Townsend’s Inlet to complete all of this project.

Various surveys and required documents have been completed to prepare this beach fill for launch.  Surveys have been taken of the beaches following the nor’easter that visited both communities early last week.

 

Councilman James Deever discussing the Avalon Beach Fill project with the United States Army Corps of Engineers on January 26th, 2017.

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Project Update January 26, 2017

Representatives from Avalon and Stone Harbor attended the weekly beach fill progress meeting on Thursday, January 26th, at the Stone Harbor firehouse.  In attendance from Avalon were Councilman James Deever, Business Administrator Scott Wahl, and Engineer Tom Thornton.  Among those in attendance in Stone Harbor were Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour, Councilwoman Joselyn Rich, and Business Administrator Jill Gougher.

The United State Army Corps of Engineers announced that the tentative start date of sand being dredged from Hereford Inlet onto Stone Harbor’s beaches is expected to begin on or about February 7th.  The dredge “Texas” from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company is currently in the Philadelphia area and was not able to come to the Jersey Shore this week due to rough seas created by Monday’s coastal storm event.  The “Texas” is expected to perform about one week worth of emergency dredge work in the Christiana River near Wilmington before coming to the 7 Mile Beach for the project.  In advance of the dredge’s arrival, various heavy equipment has already been mobilized to both communities.  Approximately 4,000 additional feet of pipe is expected to arrive in Stone Harbor for the project.

Stone Harbor’s beach fill will begin first, with Avalon’s beach fill being conducted after Stone Harbor.  It will take approximately 28 days to complete Stone Harbor’s portion of the project.  It is anticipated that FCCE money will be applied to both Avalon and Stone Harbor.  If applied, this will result in 940,000 cubic yards of sand to be placed on the Avalon beaches between 9th Street and the north end of 38th Street in order to restore the beachfront to the federal template.  The Avalon portion of the project will take approximately 37 days; dredging is often interrupted due to rough seas and any mechanical issues with the dredge.  It is anticipated that Avalon’s major portion of the beach fill will begin in early to mid March.

Councilman James Deever was informed at the meeting that if FCCE money is available for this project, it is also possible that beaches between 76th Street and 80th Street in Avalon may also receive sand before the northern portion of Stone Harbor’s project is completed, after the major work is completed in Avalon.  For this portion of the project, the dredge pipeline will be submerged, run on the east side of the 8th Street Jetty, and land on Avalon’s southerly beaches.

This project is a partnership between the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Boroughs of Avalon and Stone Harbor.

The dredge “Texas” owned and operated by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, LLC will be conducting the beach fill project in Avalon and Stone Harbor

Avalon/Stone Harbor Beach Fill Project Update January 19th, 2017

Officials from Avalon and Stone Harbor attended a progress meeting regarding the Avalon/Stone Harbor beach fill project.  This project is sponsored by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and by both communities.  In attendance were representatives from the four agencies, along with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC which has been awarded the contract for the beach fill project.

Some heavy equipment has arrived in Stone Harbor for its portion of the project.  Stone Harbor’s beachfront will be constructed first, followed by Avalon.  A Notice to Proceed was issued to Great Lakes on January 16th, 2017.  Various equipment and materials are arriving at the 123rd Street parking lot in Stone Harbor, with submerged pipeline landing at 117th Street.  Approximately 4,000 feet of subline still needs to be put in place for the Stone Harbor portion of the project; that may be conducted, weather permitting from January 20th-22nd.

The actual start of the beach fill in Stone Harbor is anticipated to be January 27th, 2017.  However, this may be impacted for a few to several days due to two factors.  There will be stormy conditions with rain and rough seas during the early part of next week; the dredge “Texas”, which is being used for this project, may conduct several days of emergency repair work in the Philadelphia/Wilmington area before being mobilized to the 7 Mile Beach.  That could result in a start of the project towards the end of January.

It will take approximately 20 days of uninterrupted work to complete the Stone Harbor portion of the project.  Then, the “Texas” will move to Avalon to begin a massive beach fill project that is currently anticipated to start at 9th Street and go south to 30th Street.  The United States Army Corps of Engineers completed beach profile surveys on January 18th and the exact size and scope of the project will be forthcoming.  Agencies are also working on securing some emergency funding that will provide more sand for the Avalon beachfront.

This project is to repair damage to the Avalon beaches caused by an October, 2015 nor’easter event and Winter Storm Jonas in January, 2016.