Avalon Municipal Engineer Tom Thornton and Councilwoman Dr. Nancy Hudanich  Photo by Avalon Business Administrator Scott Wahl

Avalon municipal engineer Thomas Thornton from Mott MacDonald earned an Honor Place recipient award from the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers.  The award was earned for Thornton’s management in the reconstruction of Avalon’s 8th Street Jetty and granted under the Society’s Municipal Construction Management Projects “E” category.

“Avalon is extremely proud of Tom’s achievement, which is well deserved”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi.  “The jetty was significantly damaged by Winter Storm Jonas in 2016 and thanks to Tom’s planning and leadership, the jetty has been restored to assist with resiliency and beach maintenance for years to come”.

Thornton was presented the award during a virtual ceremony held on Tuesday, November 10th.  Thornton has been previously honored by the Society for his involvement in Avalon’s Veterans Park, the Surfside Park project, and for a comprehensive back bay dredging project that involved multiple agencies as well as a public-private partnership. Douglas Gaffney, P.E., of Mott MacDonald, was the Project Manager for the project.

Avalon’s 8th Street Jetty experienced damage during Jonas that resulted in large rock being displaced and the foundation of the jetty to be compromised.  Mott MacDonald worked with the Borough to submit a successful grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to obtain 75 percent of the funding necessary for the project, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars.  Repairs on the jetty were made for eight months, concluding in August, 2020.  The top layer of the jetty was removed and replaced, and the jetty was slightly elevated in some locations.  The jetty provides resiliency to the Borough during storm events that generate heavy wave action, and helps slow the rate of erosion of sand in the Borough’s north end.  The jetty is also a popular location for recreational fishermen.

“It is always a pleasure working with the Mayor, Council, and administration in Avalon to bring concept and ideas to fruition”, Thornton said.  “We are very proud of our collective effort to repair and restore the jetty, and we are deeply honored by this recognition from the society”.

Thornton and Mott MacDonald are very active in many Avalon municipal projects including beach restoration, water/sewer/stormwater projects, street restoration, bulkhead replacement, and future planning.  Thornton also chairs Avalon’s Floodplain Management Committee and assists with various flood mitigation projects that have earned Avalon a Class 3 in FEMA’s Community Rating System program, providing 35 percent discounts on flood insurance to Avalon property owners.