Governor Christie and LBI mayors have been pushing for the beach replenish plan for several years. The holdup was a few Oceanfront owners refusing to sign off on easements which would allow the Army Corps of Engineers dune access.
The Christie administration has since implemented a new plan under eminent domain allowing use of the easements. Although the Corps previously estimated that the sand and dune replenishment would begin in late spring or early summer the anticipated start date has been pushed back to the fall of 2014.
It appears LBI will have at least two beaches starting at the same time, and if equipment is available, as many as four beaches will all be filled simultaneously.
The real estate division of the Corps is supposed to determine a scope of work for appraisals related to obtaining remaining easements via eminent domain.
If the project goes out to bid in June it is anticipated that work will begin Sept. 1 or later. Corps public affairs officer Steve Rochette confirmed, “It’s not likely the project would begin before the end of the summer. There are so many variables that it can be difficult to predict start dates in advance,”
Corps spokesman Ed Voigt stated a Superstorm Sandy-related supplemental bill funded work that was completed last year to restore the beaches in Surf City, Harvey Cedars and a mile of Brant Beach, all which had undergone replenishment before the storm. As for the rest of the Island – “that’s next.” That work will be 100 percent federally funded although future periodic re-nourishment will be cost shared with the state and the municipality.