BAY HEAD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — More than six years after Superstorm Sandy, the replenishment project on the Jersey Shore is almost complete.
On Monday, CBS2’s Meg Baker got a behind-the-scenes look at the work being done and has more on what you can expect at your favorite shore town this summer.
The dredge is on the move, heading north to Point Pleasant Beach. The Army Corps of Engineers invited CBS2 to tour the large-scale replenishment operation that is wrapping up in Lavallette.
“Before we got here the beach was much lower. The dune wasn’t as large and it was much more susceptible to storms,” project manager Keith Watson said.
The beach is now more than 400 feet wide, with 22-foot dunes, a barrier to protect the coast from storm surges.
“I think it’s a good project and I think we need it,” Bay Head resident Judith Batcha said.
In 2016, CBS2 went out on a dredge to see how sand is pumped in from three miles off shore, and pumped out through large pipes and bulldozed. The work has been ongoing since June 2017 in Ocean County. The aerial view of what Mantoloking looked like post-Sandy and now is striking.
Point Pleasant and Bay Head are the last two towns to fill. The project in Point Pleasant will start near Makin Avenue and is expected to be completed by Memorial Day Weekend, but that timeline could be washed out to sea with one bad storm.
That’s a major concern for Bay Head. Mayor William Curtis told CBS2’s Baker the town took a financial hit after the replenishment work was planned for last summer and then abruptly cancelled due to weather and mechanical problems.
Project managers say Bay Head should be completed by mid-June, but locals are skeptical.
“Always takes longer than it’s supposed to, right? So I have feeling this summer it’s going to be probably machines on beach,” Lee Batcha said.
“Impossible!” Frank DuBoise added.
Duboise said the vital project may interrupt early summer plans, but he will manage. It’s for the greater good.
The beaches will all need periodic replenishment. The Army Corps of Engineers will be back every four years to check on the area.