Workers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are moving ahead of schedule in constructing jetties along the Long Beach coastline storm protection project.
The Corps has finished eight of the 15 jetties planned in Long Beach from Roosevelt Boulevard to New York Avenue.
The jetties are part of a $230 million federally funded project by the Corps to add dunes and groins across Long Beach from Jones Inlet to East Rockaway Inlet.
The protective structures known as groins are being built to trap sand and stabilize the beach from future erosion and tidal flooding.
Federal and local officials have called the project decades overdue to protect the barrier island from Point Lookout to Atlantic Beach after the region was battered and flooded nearly five years ago during superstorm Sandy. Federal officials said the storm caused $250 million in damage.
Army Corps engineers moved ahead in August with work at Tennessee Avenue and Monroe Boulevard, though it originally was slated to begin in the fall. City officials had sought to delay the work to reduce beach closures, but said engineers have more flexibility now that the summer beach season has ended.
“The Army Corps Beach Protection Project is ahead of schedule, and as a result they’re on track to have the jetty work completed before the next summer season,” Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “It’s something we’re very proud to be bringing forward.”
Work is expected to begin this fall on five other jetties at Georgia Avenue and National, Washington, Laurelton and Lafayette boulevards. Each phase of the project will close less than 1,000 feet of beach space for construction of jetties and groins in the water.
Federal officials said a historically narrow width of beachfront has increased the potential for storm damage due to eight storms since 1938 that preceded Sandy. Officials said the shoreline protection “reduces risk against a 100-year storm event.”
Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said the beach needs an extra layer of protection during active hurricane seasons, speaking as Hurricane Jose loomed off the coast.
“The latest round of storms that we have all watched on the news — and that have even touched our area — make us keenly aware of the need for the Army Corps project,” Kaminsky said Tuesday. “Every morning I look upon the newly built jetties and am grateful for them and for the future work that is to come. It is only a matter of time before we see just how important they are.”
Corps officials plan complete groins and jetties across 7 miles of coastline by next spring. Stone delivery to construct the jetties at New York Avenue and Neptune Boulevard will continue this winter until the job is completed.
Work in Point Lookout was completed earlier this year, and the total project includes rehabilitating 17 existing groins and building four additional ones.
Corps officials plan to award a second contract later this year for sand placement for the dunes and along the beach. The project calls for adding 4.7 million cubic yards of sand.
Long Beach officials said sand replenishment for the beach would include environmentally approved dredging of the ocean floor to provide the same fine consistency on the beach.
The Corps is conducting a separate study on the north side of the barrier island to examine flood control on the back bays of Reynolds Channel, between Long Beach and South Shore communities, and expanding north to the Five Towns.
The Corps held meetings in Long Beach and Hewlett this week to discuss potential prevention measures, including tidal gates to Reynolds Channel, bulkheads, flood walls, levees, sea walls, beach replenishment, wetland restoration and storm water improvements.
The Army Corps of Engineers has finished eight of the 15 jetties planned in Long Beach from Roosevelt Boulevard to New York Avenue.
New York Avenue /Complete
Tennessee Avenue/In Progress
Georgia Avenue/Fall 2017 or Winter 2018
Monroe Boulevard/In Progress
National Boulevard/Fall 2017 or Winter 2018
Washington Boulevard/Fall 2017 or Winter 2018
Laurelton Boulevard/Fall 2017 or Winter 2018
Lafayette Boulevard/Fall 2017 or Winter 2018
Source: Army Corps of Engineers