As the remnants of a powerful storm crashed into Jersey shore beaches, bringing days of strong winds and high tides, the Army Corps of Engineers on Monday announced a $21.5 million contract to rebuild the beach in downtown Ocean City.
By Bill Barlow, Press of Atlantic City
Work could start in November.
The timing of the announcement appears coincidental. The project has been under discussion throughout the year, part of a long-term federal commitment to the city’s beaches.
The Army Corps has been returning sand to the city’s beaches for 30 years, since an initial federal beach project in 1992. On Monday, the same day that the remnant of Hurricane Ian threw powerful waves at the city’s beaches, officials announced that a contract had been approved with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois, to add 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from offshore to the beaches from 14th Street to the jetty at Seaview Road.
The project is part of a partnership between the Army Corps Philadelphia district, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the city of Ocean City.
The plan calls for sand from offshore to be pumped onto the beach and then graded into an elevated berm.
The project is designed to reduce damages from coastal storm events.
“The Army Corps will issue a Notice to Proceed in October 2022 with construction estimated to start in November 2022,” reads a statement from the Army Corps.
The cost of the work will be divided between the state, the city and the federal government.
Before the first federal beach project three decades ago, high tides would reach under Ocean City’s Boardwalk daily. On Monday, during a severe storm, the high tide reached the dune in some areas of the city’s downtown, but the dune remained intact and in most areas there was still room on the beach as well.