By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
More sand, please.
Sea Isle City is getting significantly more sand than originally expected to replenish its storm-eroded beaches.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio announced Tuesday during a City Council meeting that an extra 30,000 to 40,000 cubic yards of new sand will be added to the beaches in Townsends Inlet in the south end of town.
“I’m happy to announce that based on current funding conditions, the city will receive an additional 30 to 40 thousand cubic yards of sand in the final section of beach between 84th and 93rd Street, widening these beaches even further than the project design originally called for,” Desiderio said in a statement.
The contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency overseeing the beach replenishment, has just wrapped up the first phase of the project between 28th to 52nd streets in the middle of town.
The midtown beaches have been freshened up and widened with 250,000 cubic yards of new sand, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
“So far, the project has made excellent progress, and the midtown beaches from 28th to 52nd Street have been completed and are fully open to the public,” Desiderio said.
It’s a Terrific Tuesday on the beach in Sea Isle!
Posted by Sea Isle News on Tuesday, July 28, 2020
New video shot at 34th Street shows the replenished beachfront in that area.
Work has now shifted to the second phase of the project, replenishing the beaches in Townsends Inlet from 74th to 93rd streets.
“Currently, the contractor is filling the beaches between 74th and 78th streets. We expect they’ll complete this section in the next day or two, then move to 84th Street and proceed southward from 84th to the jetty south of 93rd Street, which will complete the project,” Desiderio said.
Originally, plans called for 510,000 cubic yards of new sand to be placed on the beaches in Townsends Inlet. The 30,000 to 40,000 cubic yards of extra sand announced by Desiderio represents a significant increase.
A standard dump truck holds about 10 cubic yards of beach sand, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. An additional 30,000 to 40,000 cubic yards of sand would be the equivalent of 3,000 to 4,000 dump truck loads.
The estimated completion date is Aug. 20 in Townsends Inlet, but that is for full demobilization of the contractor’s heavy construction equipment used for the project. Actual dredging and beach replenishment operations could be completed sooner than that date, Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Steve Rochette said.
Most of the replenishment work involves widening the eroded beaches. However, in some areas the dunes, beach access points and sand fencing will be repaired.
Heavy construction equipment and massive pipes crowd the beaches where the project is taking place. No more than 1,000 feet of the beachfront will be closed at any one time during the work.
As the project continues, the city will provide daily updates on which beaches and dune paths are closed on the “Beach Fill” tab on the municipal website at www.seaislecitynj.us.
Sea Isle suffered significant beach erosion in some spots during a lingering coastal storm that unleashed a series of unusually high tides over a four-day period in October 2019.
During the storm, huge chunks of sand were sliced away from the dunes, leaving cliff-like walls in some areas. The beach replenishment project will repair the damaged dunes.
Sea Isle is part of a $32.5 million beach replenishment project that also includes Strathmere and Ocean City. There are options in the contract for even more sand if needed, which could increase the cost of the project to $41.3 million.
The project will be funded mostly by the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The three towns will each kick in a smaller share. Sea Isle’s contribution is expected to be less than $2 million.