LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP — The start of a beach-fill project in the Brant Beach section of the township has been pushed back to 2012.

Stephen Rochette, spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Wednesday the work is expected to start in January or February. 

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., of Oak Brook, Ill., is contracted for $16.7 million by the corps to do the work with a completion date of June 15. The project is partially funded through $7.6 million in federal funding awarded earlier this year. The remaining cost of the beach fill will be divided between the state and township. 

“Once they start, they usually take about 90 days. If they start in January, that’s quite a ways away from Memorial Day. We know the summer season is an important time, and we try to avoid that with all of our projects,” Rochette said.

He said the contractor, which will be coming from Delaware, still has to submit a work-and-safety plan, along with a pumping schedule before the project begins. 

“The start date all comes down to dredge availability and when they’re expected to finish on other projects in other locations,” he said. 

The beaches from 31st Street south to 75th Street will be replenished with 1.2 million cubic yards of sand. 

The contract includes the option for additional contract features, including an additional 175,000 cubic yards of sand, bumping the total contract award up to $17.9 million. 

“I feel very comfortable and they definitely assured me that their contract is over in June and that includes demobilization. The bottom line is that it’s only a 90-day job. I don’t foresee any problem at all,” said Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini. 

Mancini said he’s glad the project will start in January or February — during the season when Long Beach Island experiences particularly difficult weather conditions.

Mancini said there are still six homeowners who refused to sign easements granting the corps access to their property to complete the beachfront project. If they had signed easements, all of Brant Beach could have been replenished, he said.

“But I couldn’t be happier. I think that once the project is put in place in Brant Beach, a lot of the holdouts will see what it’s all about. It’s a job that has to be done and I’m tickled to death that we’re getting it,” he said.

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