Long Beach city officials renewed the city’s contract with coastal engineers who are planning to rebuild the beach under a storm protection project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The city is waiting for the Army Corps to award a bid to work with the Department of Environmental Conservation to build dunes and jetties across the barrier island.
City Council members on Tuesday extended the contract signed since 2008 with the Boca Raton, Florida-based Coastal Planning and Engineering “to evaluate the physical conditions of the city’s ocean and bay front shorelines.”
New York State and the Army Corps signed a $200 million dune and storm protection contract with Long Beach officials in October. The plan was approved by the DEC to build dunes and groins to replenish sand on the beach washed away by superstorm Sandy. The project covers the entire barrier island’s oceanfront from Point Lookout to Atlantic Beach.
Long Beach Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba said the Army Corps is planning the project over 48 months starting on the eastern coast of Point Lookout and moving west. Work would begin by closing 1,000 feet of beachfront at a time. About $80 million of the project will be spent in Long Beach.
Engineers have finished designing the first phase of the project, which will rehabilitate 15 of the 23 groins in the Long Beach city limits. The second phase of the project will include sand replenishment and widening the beach, LaCarrubba said.
The groins are aimed at collecting sand on to the beachfront. The Army Corps is strengthening the jetties with about 250,000 tons of stone across the entire barrier island. The city is working with dredging companies to select the finest sand borrowed from designated areas from the ocean floor without harming the ecosystem.
“In certain parts of the city we lost a considerable amount of sand after Sandy,” LaCarrubba said. “We still suffer from that loss of sand in certain areas where the elevation is still low and the profile of the beach is not as wide as it used to be.”
The project is being entirely funded by the Sandy Recovery Act approved by Congress in 2013.