Attorneys for a group of Margate homeowners are due in federal court Tuesday in Camden as they try to block a federally funded beach replenishment project.
The hearing is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. in Judge Renee Bumb’s chambers. The homeowners’ lawsuit contends the plan to create dunes nearly 13 feet high about 20 feet out from Margate’s bulkhead would create drainage problems on the beach block, allowing water to pool behind dunes and in street ends.
The homeowners also allege the project’s current design for Margate would create health hazards, odors and standing water at their doorsteps. That could provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and the lawsuit notes the Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. The type of mosquito that spreads Zika is not a problem in New Jersey.
Jordan M. Rand, of Dilworth Paxson in Philadelphia, attorney for the homeowners, said he does not expect a ruling Tuesday, but added that traditionally the court acts quickly.
The project would be paid for by the federal government, while the replenishment part of the project in Ventnor and Atlantic City will require the typical split of 65 percent from the federal government, about 26 percent from the state and about 9 percent from the local government, federal officials said.
The Absecon Island Project for Margate, Ventnor and Longport is expected to cost $40 million, according to the Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District.
Margate’s initial replenishment and dune construction may be 100 percent funded by federal post-Sandy emergency money.