AVALON — The first half of a project to rebuild portions of Seven Mile Beach lost to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy is complete.
Avalon’s half of the project finished last week after a dredge pumped 302,000 cubic yards of sand from an area in Townsend’s Inlet onto the beach from the Eighth Street jetty to 25th Street.
Borough Public Information Officer Scott Wahl said Monday the beach fill, which will cost more than $5 million, was financed entirely by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The cost falls under the federal Flood Control and Coastal Emergency program.
The dredge has left for another project in New York, but will return to Cape May County during the second week of April to pump 420,000 cubic yards of sand onto the Stone Harbor beachfront.
That fill will be used from 92nd Street south to 114th Street, and from 119th Street south. The work is expected to be complete by Memorial Day weekend.
Wahl said the federal government initially agreed to complete repairs to the beach after it suffered some erosion during Hurricane Irene in August 2011, but the work also included adding sand lost to Hurricane Sandy in October.
In a news release, Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi said he was pleased with the work. “The borough now has both a protective and recreational beachfront for the remainder of the winter storm season and for the upcoming spring and summer tourism season,” he said.
Pagliughi said the beach fill project is significant because of the island’s position as a tourism-driven community, noting that “Every single job on the Seven Mile Beach is a direct result of sand being on the beachfront.”
In a news release, Stone Harbor Mayor Suzanne Walters said the beach fill was importand to making 2013 a prosperous tourism season. The work also includes replanting dune grass, rebuilding dune fence and restoring handicapped access.
Contact Trudi Gilfillian: 609-463-6716 TGilfillian@pressofac.com