For nearly a year, the Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, has been repairing damage from Hurricane Sandy to previously-engineered beaches in New York and New Jersey. Now, restoration has expanded to a new area where the Corps of Engineers hasn’t previously worked ─ Port Monmouth, N.J.
NEW PROJECT IN garden state
In June 2014, the District began the first phase of an extensive $110 million hurricane and storm damage risk reduction project along the shores of Raritan and Sandy Hook Bay in Port Monmouth, N.J., providing coastal-storm risk reduction for low-lying residential and commercial structures. Hit hard by Sandy in 2012 (700+ structures were damaged), problems have worsened in recent years due to shoreline erosion and increased urbanization and development in an area with wetlands and creeks. In mid-June, District Commander Col. Paul Owen joined U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone in Port Monmouth announcing the start of construction (see photo above).
“The Army Corps of Engineers is pleased to provide this project for residents of Port Monmouth and the greater Middletown Township, home to nearly 66,000 people,” said program manager David Gentile. “A replenished coastline combined with a variety of flood-control measures will reduce risk of flooding and damage from coastal storms.”
The work is divided into two parts. Phase 1, now in progress, is being carried out through a $17.7 million contract with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. of Oak Brook, Ill. Phase 2 ─ a five-contract, $92.5 million initiative scheduled to begin early 2015 ─ will be awarded later this year. The following is a list of scheduled work:
● Beach Replenishment: Approximately 400,000 cubic yards of sand placed along the shoreline creating a 95-foot wide beach berm to absorb wave energy. It will be renourished at 10-year intervals.
● Dune: A 25-foot-wide, 15-foot-high dune spanning nearly 3,300 feet. Plantings will hold sand in place and, over time, increase dune height. Pedestrian and vehicle ramps will provide shoreline access.
● Pier Extension: Extending an existing fishing pier approximately 200 feet, including an ADA-compliant ramp for individuals with limited mobility. Identical decking and railing will maintain a uniform look.
● Groin: A 300-foot terminal groin (jetty-like structure) to hold sand in place and reduce erosion.
● Wetland Mitigation: Eradicating invasive plants that overtake vegetation vital to wetlands.
● Pump Stations: For interior drainage and channeling excess water back into Raritan Bay.
● Road-Raising: Raising and re-grading Port Monmouth Road, aligning it with a system of levees.
● Flood Walls: Two 13-foot floodwalls; one along Port Monmouth Road and another parallel to Route 36, a main coastline thoroughfare.
● Levees: A system of earthen/clay levees extending from Port Monmouth Road to Route 36.
● Closure Gates: Three closure gates across roads, reducing flooding in areas that cannot be permanently closedoff.
The Corps of Engineers recently completed beach replenishment operations and is moving forward with other aspects of phase I ─ dune work, pier extension and groin ─ beginning summer 2014.