Under a contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District, Weeks Marine Inc. began dredging and beachfill operations at Ortley Beach in New Jersey on July 12. The work is part of the 14-mile beachfill and dune construction along the Barnegat Peninsula. The project is a joint effort of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The Corps awarded the base bid contract of $91,922,023 to Weeks Marine Inc. on January 10, 2017.
During the start of beachfill operations on July 12, the project team observed a darker material being pumped onto the beach. A geotechnical investigation revealed the dredge hit a peat layer in the offshore borrow area, which also caused turbidity near the dredge discharge point. The dredge EW Ellefson resumed dredging operations on July 13, and the team observed typical sand being discharged from the pipe. Toms River Township raked the beach and was able to remove the peat material from the beach.
Weeks Marine Inc. has been using various types of dredges depending on the distance from the sand borrow sites to the shoreline. Hopper dredges R.N. Weeks and B.E. Lindholm are working at Mantoloking, Lavallette and Point Pleasant Beach, with this section scheduled for completion in April 2019. The pipeline dredge C.R. McCaskill is dredging in Seaside Park with Berkeley Township to follow. This part of the project should be completed by early December.
More than 2 million cubic yards of sand has been pumped onto the beaches of Mantoloking and Brick Township to date. More than 11 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged from approved borrow areas and pumped through a series of pipes onto the beaches. The sand will then be built into a dune and berm system with dunes built to an elevation of 22 feet. Beaches will be constructed from 100 feet to 300 feet wide and to an elevation of 8.5 feet.
The Northern Ocean County Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project is the result of a 2002 feasibility study that investigated flood and coastal storm damage effects between the Manasquan and Barnegat inlets, which recommended the construction of a dune and berm system to reduce impacts from coastal erosion and storms. The plan called for beachfill construction along the oceanfront using sand from an offshore borrow source and periodic nourishment for a period of 50 years. Congress authorized the project as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007.