NORTH WILDWOOD — A beach-replenishment project designed to rebuild city beaches lost to Hurricane Sandy is expected to begin next month.
During Tuesday’s regular council meeting, the city awarded a $3.16 million contract to Norfolk Dredging Co., of Norfolk, Va.
Mayor Bill Henfey said he expects to have the replenishment work start on the city’s southern end and then move to the northern part of the beach to lessen any impact as the tourist season approaches. An estimated 9 million visitors come to Five Mile Beach each year.
“That way we won’t have the pipes stretched across the beach,” he said.
The work is to be completed by June 25.
After Hurricane Sandy, the city learned that about 150,000 cubic yards of sand had been lost on the north end near Second Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard and along the city's dune system.
Stewart Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, monitors the city's beach and said at the time the dune was erased, allowing water to run into city streets.
Henfey said the work will rebuild beaches important to the island’s tourism-driven economy while protecting property.
On Tuesday, City Council approved an emergency appropriation for $3.5 million to pay for the work, but a bond ordinance will offset that appropriation.
Henfey added that the city expects to be reimbursed for 75 percent of the cost of the project from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The city received three bids for the beach replenishment, and Norfolk Dredging Co. is the same company currently involved in a beach-replenishment project in Stone Harbor, City Clerk Scott Jett said.
Henfey said that meant the city did save some money by avoiding additional mobilization costs.
The city's last beach-replenishment project took place in 2012 when 93,000 cubic yards of sand from Wildwood Crest was hauled by truck to North Wildwood.
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