Pipeline, heavy equipment and an amphibious tripod known as a CRAB are in place in the north end of the city in preparation for the start of a $21.5 million project set to again rebuild the city’s eroded downtown beaches.
By Bill Barlow, Press of Atlantic City
The work will begin before the end of November or in early December, adding 1.2 million cubic yards of sand between the jetty at Seaview Road and 14th Street, where erosion has hit the barrier island the hardest.
The dredge Texas is expected to be in place in the Great Egg Harbor Inlet by Thursday or Friday, according to city spokesperson Doug Bergen, with the sand-pumping operation set to begin over the weekend.
This is the latest federal beach project since the first one in 1992, which came with a 50-year commitment to maintain the city’s beaches. The costs are divided between the city, state and federal government.
The CRAB, or Coastal Research Amphibious Buggy, is one of the more visible pieces of equipment on site. It stands more than 30 feet high and can drive along the beach and into the water, used to survey the work progress.
This month, Ocean City asked boaters to be careful of the submerged pipeline that will carry sand from an offshore dredge onto the city’s beaches.
“Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine construction operations,” city officials said in a statement. “Operators of vessels of all types should be aware that dredges and floating pipelines are held in place by cables, attached to anchors some distance away from the equipment.”
The city has asked boaters to keep a no-wake zone around the dredge and said fish nets, crab pots and other structures must be removed from the work zone.
Once sand pumping begins, it will continue 24 hours each day of the week. That will require beaches to be closed to the public in the block where the project is underway.