The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin work later this month on building jetties and offshore coastal storm protection for Long Beach and the barrier island from Jones Inlet to Atlantic Beach.
The corps plans to start work this month in Point Lookout and Lido Beach and move west toward Long Beach next year by adding sand and jetties across 35,000 linear feet from Point Lookout to the western boundary of Long Beach at Nevada Avenue. The plan also calls to taper the end of the project into East Atlantic Beach.
The Army Corps is spending $230 million in federal funding to add jetties and smaller barriers called groins across 7 miles of coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean to minimize flooding, beach erosion and storm damage from hundred-year storms like superstorm Sandy.
Officials said Sandy was a once-every-180-year storm, but new storm protections would reduce the damage seen four years ago. The barrier island lost 294,000 cubic yards of sand during Sandy, and groins and jetties have not been repaired or maintained from other storm damage since they were constructed in the 1950s, according to the Army Corps.
“The Army Corps project is long overdue, and it will help ensure that we have a stronger, smarter and safer beach,” Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said.
Schnirman said the project would include community involvement as it develops.
The first $38 million phase of the project was awarded to Bay Shore-based H&L Construction, which will complete all groin construction in two years. Contractors plan to haul 250,000 tons of stone from New Jersey across the Atlantic Beach Bridge Monday through Friday.
The second contract is scheduled to be awarded by November 2017 to add 4.7 million cubic yards of sand, dune crossings and dune grass.
The Point Lookout-to-Lido Beach phase is expected to be completed in 2017 and $85 million of improvements are expected to start in Long Beach in 2017.
Year-round work will be done at National, Edwards and Riverside boulevards. Each groin rehabilitation will take about a month to finish.
Construction will block access to the beach from under the Long Beach boardwalk but the beach will be accessible from the boardwalk and walkovers over the dunes. Dune construction could block some views of the beach from the boardwalk and will temporarily limit surfing and fishing.
Beach sand is being replaced from a beach fill area on the ocean floor, about 1 mile offshore from Long Beach. Crews will take fine sand similar to the current beach makeup to add 4.7 million cubic yards of sand to the beach.
THE PLAN OF ACTION
- Point Lookout barrier island sand replacement work to begin later this month.
- Long Beach groin and other work to follow.
- Of that, 250,000 tons of stone will be trucked in across the Atlantic Beach Bridge, along with 4.7 million cubic yards of sand.