The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed all its groins and jetties on the Long Beach shoreline, with plans for a quiet summer until work resumes in the fall.
Workers finished the first eight jetties in September. The remaining seven jetties were finished in the past six months, spanning from Point Lookout to Long Beach, covering seven miles of coastline in the first phase of a $230 million federally funded two-year project.
Workers have been cleaning up the beach, including repairing a groin in Point Lookout and removing any small stones or rocks left from the construction project. A sea wall and a handicap access ramp are also being replaced on Neptune Avenue that were taken down to allow trucks to pass and deliver stones during the jetties construction, Long Beach Public Works Director John Mirando said.
“You shouldn’t see water lapping at the boardwalk any more,” Mirando said. “The most disruptive part of this project is done. It doesn’t add to the storm protection until sand replenishment is built.”
Construction on the beach led to intermittent partial beach closures last year. The protective structures known as groins were built to trap sand and stabilize the beach from future erosion and tidal flooding.
The Army Corps and Long Beach officials started the project last year after decades of planning the storm protection project to prevent flooding and erosion on the Atlantic coast from future storms. Long Beach was inundated with flooding that destroyed the boardwalk during superstorm Sandy more than five years ago.
Beachgoers should be uninterrupted for Long Beach’s peak summer season until work resumes in the fall for a sand replenishment project to pump sand back onto the beach. Sand is being collected from the ocean floor to maintain the same fine quality of sand on the existing beach.
The sand will be replenished off an oceanside barge, but pay loaders and vehicles will be adding sand to about 1,000 feet of beach per week during a 24/7 operation until the sand replenishment will be completed. Once completed, the coastline will be moved 50 to 75 feet away from where the tide currently comes in, Mirando said.
Next spring, the Army Corps expects to start work on building a 17-foot sand dune, parallel to the boardwalk, with walkovers and ramps built over the dune and down to the beach.
Bids for the sand replenishment and the dune walkovers were due last week, and a contract is expected to be awarded next month followed by a public hearing on the project expected in April.
“Everyone anticipates some adjustments to our normal routine,” Long Beach City Council President Anthony Eramo said. “This is something we need. I thought residents were fine with most of the work and everyone’s pulling through it together.”
Next phase of Army Corps project
- Sand replenishment and dune contract to be awarded in April
- Public hearing expected in April
- Work to begin in fall 2018 and be completed spring 2019