Ocean City beach fill to begin Feb. 16

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A 309-foot dredge operated by the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill. will begin pumping sand onto Ocean City’s beaches Saturday. A 309-foot dredge operated by the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill. will begin pumping sand onto Ocean City’s beaches Saturday.

OCEAN CITY — A beach replenishment project in the city’s north end is expected to begin Feb. 16.

The beach replenishment project is the result of a 50-year agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers, approved by council in the summer. The city is splitting the cost of the north end replenishment with the state and the federal government.

A 309-foot dredge operated by the Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Ill. will operate 24 hours a day. The dredge will be located in the ocean off the north end of the island.

It will be replacing a total of 1.8 million cubic yards of sand and be pumping 19,050 cubic yards a day. It should take less than five days to replenish an average Ocean City block.

Dredging will begin at Beach Road and proceed north to Seaspray Beach, then proceed south to 14th Street. The city is negotiating to extend the project south. The beach fill operation as it now stands is expected to take 95 days to complete.

The cost for the original project prior to Hurricane Sandy was $10.3 million. In August, council adopted a $650,000 bond ordinance to help pay for the city’s share of the project, which at 8.75 percent was about $1.265 million for 1 million cubic yards of sand. At its Jan. 24 meeting, city director of finance Frank Donato announced that the federal government will fund 100 percent of the cost of increased sand amounts to cover what was lost during Sandy, estimated at $5.5 million. About $370,000 of storm water outfall repairs are also part of the contract.

At the Jan. 24 meeting, Ocean City Council also introduced a $5.29 million bond, of which $2.67 million was appropriated for dune reconstruction. The original dune project called for 50,000 cubic yards of sand, and the city is hopeful to add 50,000 cubic yards from 13th street southward, as well as 50,000 cubic yards to the far south end. Donato said that there is also a strong possibility that 75 percent of the cost of the dune repairs would be covered by a Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement.

Representatives from the Army Corps and DEP have committed to attending a public meeting in February to answer questions.

The Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District is responsible for the contract and construction management of the project.

People may watch the operation from behind established safety fence/tape boundaries during the daylight hours. The project site is dangerous at night and spectators are advised to stay away.

As has been the custom in the past, the city will present honorary Sea Shore Sand Supervisors Certificates to those who watch the operation. The certificates will feature a photo of the dredge and verify that “the holder has spent at least five minutes watching Ocean City’s massive beach replenishment project from the boardwalk or suitable safe location.”                                                                                                                                      

The certificates will be available at the public relations office in City Hall or by calling 525-9300.


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