Photo taken from Avalon’s 12th Street beach, looking south, taken Thursday, March 21st 2019. The beach path is closed due to safety reasons

Avalon’s 12th Street beach path facing north, on Thursday, March 21st 2019. The beach path is closed due to safety reasons

Avalon’s expansive 35th Street beach, part of the borrow area for the back passing project, taken Thursday, March 21st 2019


Thursday, April 25th, 2019 Update:

Avalon is in the final days of a major sand back passing project that results in restored beaches in the northern end of the community that were compromised during winter storm activity.  The project is anticipated to conclude on Tuesday, April 30th and results in approximately 55,000 cubic yards of sand being back passed from a borrow area in the central part of the community to beach blocks between 9th through 15th streets that lost most of the beach to the toe of the dune system.

“This project was conducted by the Avalon Department of Public Works with rented equipment, and completed ahead of time and under budget”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi.  “Avalon was the first beach community in New Jersey to commit to sand back passing projects as a way to bridge the gap between hydraulic beach fill projects.  This allows the Borough to restore beaches on our schedule, with our manpower, to produce the highest level of efficiency possible”.

The sand back passing project results in sand being removed from a permitted borrow area south of the Avalon Fishing Pier below the high water mark.  The wet sand is methodically scraped and trucked to the north end beaches, then graded to an engineered template.  The back passing project results in no dry upland sand removed from the borrow area.  During a spring back passing project, new sand is replenished in the borrow area on nearly a daily basis result in marginal overall sand loss.

The Avalon Department of Public Works will stockpile a small quantity of sand on north end beaches that will be graded out before Memorial Day weekend in the event a spring storm occurs in May.  Public Works will also conduct a final grade and smoothing of sand in the borrow area before Memorial Day.

The sand back passing project is a component of Avalon’s overall beach and dune management and maintenance plan.  It is anticipated that a hydraulic beach fill project will go out to bid in the coming months that will result in a larger beach fill project with participation from the federal and state governments.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 Update:  The Avalon sand back passing project resumed on Monday, April 22nd.  By the end of the working day on Tuesday, April 23rd, the Avalon Department of Public Works has moved 47,408 cubic yards of sand from the borrow area to the fill area in the northern beach blocks that were eroded due to winter weather activity.  Tides are generally running low this week which should increase efficiency for this project as it is past 75 percent completion.  The work is being done by Public Works with rented equipment for the beach.  When the project ends, there will be an engineered slope of sand in the north end and grading of the beach in the borrow area.  No “dry” upland sand has been used for this project, that remains untouched.  It is anticipated that this project will conclude within the next two weeks.

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 Update:  The sand back passing project has entered its 11th day.  To date, crews from the Avalon Department of Public Works have moved 31,798 cubic yards of sand to north end beaches.  This week, through Saturday, there are astronomical high tides and some sand loss in the north end is expected.  There was some sand loss on Monday morning due to a strong storm front that came in resulting in high surf action.  Public Works will not be working on Saturday or Sunday for the Easter weekend.  There is a sand pile located near the 35th Street beach.  Parents should remind their children to stay away from the pile as the area is an active construction zone.  Sand will be back passed today and Good Friday, April 18th.

Avalon Department of Public Works working on the beaches in the 30s during the sand back passing project. Photo taken Wednesday, April 16th by Avalon Business Administrator Scott Wahl

Friday, April 12th, 2019 Update:  On Thursday, April 11th the Department of Public Works back passed 3,343 cubic yards of sand to the fill the area in the north end of the community.  To date, 26,040 cubic yards of sand have been moved to the north end where severely eroded beaches exist.  This is a little less than 50% of the full anticipated volume.  Please keep in mind the beaches from 40th Street to 9th Street are a construction zone with heavy truck traffic.  Please exercise caution.

Monday, April 8th, 2019 Update:  The actual back passing of the sand began on April 3, 2019 as some equipment was late to arrive.  Through Sunday, April 7th, a total of 12,626 cubic yards of sand was back passed on the Avalon beachfront to the north end.  The project is expected to continue at least for the balance of April into early May.

2019 Avalon Sand Backpassing Project

Summary:  Due to emergent conditions on Avalon’s north end beaches, the Borough will be implementing a sand backpassing project to restore north end beaches.  This will be the fifth sand backpassing project conducted by Avalon since 2012 to make emergency repairs to beaches in advance of the Atlantic Hurricane season, which begins June 1st.  This project will be conducted by the Avalon Department of Public Works with equipment rented from an approved co-op.  It is anticipated to begin on or about April 1, 2019 and be completed before Memorial Day weekend, 2019.  The Borough has received the necessary emergency permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Damaged Area/Borrow Area:  In 2018, Avalon conducted a sand backpassing project to restore beaches that were damaged from 9th Street, south to 14th Street.  In 2019, the project will extend by one block southward, to 15th Street.  In 2019, there is an extra 10-30 feet of additional landward erosion from winter weather events.  As of mid-March, 2019, the 11th Street through 13th Street beach paths are closed due to severe erosion and unsafe conditions.  It is anticipated that 55,000 cubic yards of sand will be backpassed from Avalon’s north borrow area between 33rd Street to 40th Street and taken to the damaged area.  There are currently 102,000 cubic yards of sand available in the borrow area as that beachfront has accreted and grown through the fall and winter months; in 2018, 88,000 cubic yards of sand was available from the borrow area.  The south borrow area cannot be used due to a seasonal protected bird restriction that is in effect on March 15th.  A final beach survey will be conducted by Avalon’s engineering firm of Mott MacDonald both in the borrow and fill areas immediately before the project begins in order to determine final quantities.

Process:  Bulldozers, loaders, trucks, and a water pump will be used by Avalon Department of Public Works.  The sand will be mechanically scraped per the approved template and loaded into trucks.  The trucks will pass under the Avalon Fishing pier and placed in the fill area.  Once the sand is placed, it will be graded per the approved template.  It will result in a 50-90 foot beach berm in the fill area.  Much like 2018, the Avalon Department of Public Works will, to the greatest extent possible, leave the “dry” beach untouched for scraping.  Equipment will be on the dry sand and touch ups to the beach will be conducted at the end of the project.  A dewatering pump will be placed again under the Fishing Pier to improve efficiency of the project.  It is anticipated that 3,000-4,000 cubic yards will be backpassed per day during this project.

Safety:  The public should understand that this area will be a construction area as of April 1, 2019.  There will be heavy equipment traversing the beachfront from as far south as 40th Street to as far north as 9th Street, at times, during this project.  Please avoid the construction equipment and do not place beach chairs in the path of the equipment, as noted by the truck marks in the sand, thank you!

Hydraulic Beach Fill: There is positive news for the Borough regarding the potential for a hydraulic beach fill.  A hydraulic beach fill has been approved and is expected for the Boroughs of Avalon and Stone Harbor at some point after the summer season.  A hydraulic fill will likely negate a need for the Borough to do a backpassing project for one to two Atlantic storm seasons.  The timing of this hydraulic fill has not been scheduled by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, nor has the project been advertised for bid; it is anticipated to go out to bid in June, 2019.  The 7 Mile Beach Project will work around other hydraulic beach fill projects scheduled in Cape May County in the coming year(s).