LAVALLETTE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, yet still parts of the Jersey Shore are in recovery mode. Some towns are worried that ongoing work could effect this summer season’s crowds.
Just off President Avenue in Lavallette you can see one of the Army Corps of Engineers barges pumping sand from out in the ocean onto the beach through huge pipes. It’s not exactly your ideal waterside scene, but there is quite a disparity in the width of the beach, especially compared to Bay Head’s.
The Army Corps is expected to start replenishment work north in Bay Head in May after plans were abruptly cancelled last summer.
“The bad part of that is they never told us until the last minute,” Bay Head Mayor William Curtis said. “So as far as people wanting to rent home on the ocean, they decided to go elsewhere because wasn’t sure if done in front of their home or just effecting whole beach.”
Curtis fears the same thing might happen this year and negatively effect the town’s economy for the second summer in a row, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Wednesday.
Rob Patrick rents every summer and is looking to buy, but showing up to find construction in progress in front of a property gives him pause.
“I would not be happy about it at all,” said Patrick. “It’s not what you want way when coming from the city to spend a quiet summer.”
Project managers are hopeful the beach-widening project will be complete by mid-June.
Laura Hart owns a shop off Bridge Avenue.
“We are dependent on people that come to the Jersey Shore,” Hart said. “Hopefully, they get it done quickly and properly.”
They’re also worried in Point Pleasant.
“People want a nice relaxing day at the beach. They don’t want to hear the drone of big equipment moving sand, backing up, beeping. It would be annoying to have that going on while you’re trying to have a nice vacation,” resident Pat Johnson said. “It costs a lot to come down here.”
Johnson said she understands the importance of replenishing the coast line, but also gets why renters who pay a lot of money to spend a week or so down at the shore don’t want to see it. Timing is everything.
The Army Corps of Engineers completed sand replacement operations in several other shore towns and are working in Lavallette right now.