Bridges, roads require work after Sandy

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 County hopes for reimbursement of costs

 AVALON – Officials are racing to repair storm-damaged Ocean Drive in Avalon.

 Some of the road, which leads to Sea Isle City, washed away because of Hurricane Sandy.

 If the work is finished within 180 days, Cape May County would be 100 percent reimbursed, which Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster believes would be from the Federal Highway Administration.

 “That’s our critical thing,” he said.

 On Tuesday, Cape May County Freeholders were expected to approve a resolution for a $393,419 contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff, based out of Lawrenceville, Mercer County. Design work is expected to be completed by early December, Foster said.

 The work is part of emergency restoration of Ocean Drive from Fourth Avenue to the Townsends Inlet Bridge in Avalon.

 In Strathmere in Upper Township, 400 feet of steel sheet piling was placed along the ocean edge of Ocean Drive between the Rush Chattin Bridge and Coron’s Inlet Bridge, Foster said.

 Part of road collapsed during the storm, he said.

 “So we rushed to get steel sheet piling in there so we wouldn’t get the further damage to the roadway,” Foster said.

About 150 feet of road pavement suffered damage, Foster said. 

The sheet piling work cost $229,000 and was done by South State Inc. of Bridgeton, Cumberland County, according to Foster.

 Last week, Albrecht & Hein of Cape May Court House moved sand from Beach Avenue in Cape May back to the beach, Foster said. The contract was not to be more than $25,120.

 Crews are still cleaning and restoring areas in Cape May County hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

 “The county crews have been out there working diligently doing clean up,” Foster said.

 Debris cleanup is ongoing, most of it grass and docks, he said.

 As of Tuesday, Foster said crews were at Avalon Boulevard and Sea Isle Boulevard.

 “As we clean up an area, we move to another one,” he said.

 Foster said the county bridges sustained some fender damage and navigation lights were lost.

 Foster said he has 27 bridges, which include Cape May County bridges and toll bridges operated by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

 On Tuesday, people from municipalities and elsewhere met at the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management in Cape May Court House to talk about applying for public assistance.

 The public assistance program is intended to tackle infrastructure losses from the storm. FEMA pay 75 percent as part of cost sharing, according to its website.

 Money is handed down from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the state then distributed locally.

 Entities, including local governments and private nonprofit organizations, are eligible for the funding to recover from Hurricane Sandy damage.

 Applications for public assistance must be applied for by Nov. 29, though the state Office of Emergency Management regional representative could extend the deadline.

 Many people turned out for the Nov. 13 FEMA briefing, including representatives from Avalon and Lower Township. The meeting was not open to the public.

 For more information, see or ReadyCapeMayCounty.Org.



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