Video: Much Needed Coastal Protection Project Goes Out to Bid

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VENTNOR, N.J. – The Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers are working together to fix both past and future damages on the Absecon Island communities.
Despite shore towns preparing for Tropical Storm Hermine, this long awaited beach and dune that will provide critical coastal protection for homes, businesses, and infrastructure is moving forward.
“As we see today, you know, we’re getting ready for another coastal storm coming up the coastline, and this is the kind of protection we need to have in place. We want the sand to take the heat, or take the major push of the thrust of that storm,” said Bob Martin, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
In total, 4 million cubic yards of sand will be used to construct about eight miles of dunes and beaches. That includes a 200-foot-wide berm and a dune elevation in Atlantic City, and a 100-foot-wide berm and dune elevation for Ventnor, Margate, and Longport.
“That system, we’ve seen through time and have tested it, and engineering of that, is used to break up the wave actions on long storms,” said Lt. Col. Michael Bliss, Dist. Commander of the U.S Army Corps Of Engineers.
Lt. Colonel Bliss adds that the combination of the dunes and sand berms will protect the communities from the waves up to a certain point. Since the sand is temporary, they design the berm with expectations of erosion and the need to replenish it.
Now that the project is out for bid, construction can begin as early as the beginning of winter, which means this time next year, and as early as the beginning of summer, residents can expect more sand and dunes along our coast.
“Well we have a $40 billion-plus tourism industry and more than half of that is related to our beaches and tourism on our beaches. So if we don’t have beaches, we don’t have tourists. If we don’t have tourists, we don’t have small businesses. We don’t have the small businesses, we don’t have the jobs. And first and foremost is protection of lives and propertys,” said Congressman Frank LoBiondo.
According to Lt. Colonel Bliss, the project is expected to take about 280 days before it’s complete. However, once it is finished it will lead to better protection against serious storms and weather.