LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP— An almost three-block area that serves as a popular parking area for beachgoers and a candy store will be closed for about 12 days as crews demobilize equipment at the conclusion of the Brant Beach beachfill project.
Cordoned off by chain-link fencing, the area now holds heavy equipment, pipes, valves and other items used during the project, which was completed Monday.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Stephen Rochette said the agency expects the equipment demobilization to take about 10 to 12 days.
The staging area is located parallel to Long Beach Boulevard and between 41st and 44th streets, angled a little bit at 44th Street, Rochette said.
The area is directly in front of Lucille’s Candies, Oh, Fudge. The store has hung a sign on the staging area fence, alerting customers that they are still open.
Janice Eismann, third generation owner of Lucille’s Candies said a few people have come in and said they were glad the banner was hung up because they didn’t know if the store was open.
When the staging area was set up, it was angled so that customers were still able to access the store’s parking lot, she said.
Eismann, while pleased the work was being done in June and not July or August, was still upset about the lack of notice.
“We ended last year with Hurricane Irene and that killed sales and in a way I started this summer with another kind of Irene. It was surprising because there was no notice given about the demobilization site, it just went up one day,” Eismann said.
She said the contractor’s schedule will take the problem right to the Fourth of July holiday.
“I’ve been off sales daily about two-thirds. At first I was upset, but being older now and a little more mature, on the flipside I thought if they didn’t do the replenishment I probably wouldn’t have a property here,” she said.
Rochette said that staging areas for project demobilization are the responsibility of the project’s nonfederal sponsor, which is the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Contractors used public works yards located on municipal property for demobilization for the Surf City and Harvey Cedars beachfill projects, he said. The corps coordinated with DEP and the township to determine the preferred location of the demobilization staging area.
In an email, Rochette wrote that it was necessary to set up a demobilization staging area because larger trucks were not able to easily maneuver on the small streets closer to the beach.
DEP spokesman Bob Considine said the location of the demobilization staging area was chosen collectively decision between the corps, DEP and Long Beach Township.
The long-awaited $16.7 million beachfill project started in March. Contractors pumped 1.2 million cubic yards of material on the 31st through 57th Street beaches.
“The majority of the equipment is being demobilized as the dredge just finished pumping this week. It will be an active staging and demobilization area until everything is removed. We anticipate that date to be on or before June 28,” he said.