NORTH WILDWOOD — Snow remains in the forecast, but North Wildwood officials already are thinking about the beach.

The city is going out to bid to replace sections of beach and dunes lost to Hurricane Sandy.

“We need to get the north end back in shape. We need it for our tourist season,” Mayor Bill Henfey said. “And we need it for protection.”

Stewart Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, monitors the city’s beach twice a year. After Sandy, he found 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.

“The dune was basically erased and the water flowed into the streets,” Farrell said of the dunes that once sat near the city’s amusement piers.

Henfey said the bid specifications by Van Note-Harvey Associates are almost ready and he expects to go out for bids within the next week.

“We’re looking to get it done by Memorial Day, but we’ll pump sand in June if we have to,” Henfey said of the need to ready the beaches for the island’s tourists.

An estimated 9 million visitors come to the Wildwoods each year.

Farrell said the project will replace recreational beaches and add a layer of protection for property when the dunes are restored.

The cost of the project is yet to be determined, but Farrell estimated that the pumping of the sand could come to about $1.5 million, with each cubic yard costing $8 to $10.

The cost of the work will be shared between the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with the city paying 25 percent and FEMA the remaining 75 percent.

The city also hopes to save money and eliminate the additional cost of mobilizing a dredge, if possible, by making use of a dredge that will already be off Stone Harbor for an April beach replenishment project there. The Norfolk Dredging Co. of Norfolk, Va., is expected to bring back its dredge, the Charleston, to the area for that project.

Once the contract is awarded, sand from the Hereford Inlet would then be pumped onto the city’s beach.

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 as part of a sand backpassing project.

Farrell said a similar project was not an option this time because it would take many months to move such a significant amount of sand by truck.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:

609-463-6716

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