Updated: Monday, October 2, 2017, 4:32 PM
Ocean City officials have detailed plans and a timetable for an $11.5 million project beginning this month to rebuild beaches at the northern end of the island — a project made more urgent after a 2016 winter storm struck the coast, causing flooding and erosion.
They also said the final leg of a multiphase rebuilding of the boardwalk would also start this month and be complete for it to reopen by March.
Mayor Jay Gillian said in a written update that the beach project will entail adding 930,000 cubic yards of sand between Seaspray Road and 12th Street. The sand will also be used to rebuild dunes near Fifth and 10th Streets. The project could be expanded a block or more depending on the results of surveys.
Work will begin the end of this month and run at least 50 days, meaning that it will run into December. However, it could take until January, officials said.
“Ocean City has been part of an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers since the 1990s that calls for re-nourishment projects on a three-year cycle,” city spokesman Doug Bergen said in an email. “The current project is on an expedited schedule based on erosion from Jonas in 2016.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is funding 90 percent of the cost and the state is also funding a portion.
Bergen said the city “is extremely grateful for its partnership with the feds and state for this work.”
He said Ocean City will have an an uninterrupted dune system protecting property along almost all of its beachfront, except for a small breach at Fifth Street caused by the rough surf of the recent Jose and Maria hurricanes.
A 305-foot cutter will pump sand in from an area about a mile off Great Egg Harbor Inlet. A pipe from the dredge site will empty sand onto Morningside Road. Crews will work north to south and about 1,000 feet of beach will be closed.
It’s the eighth such project by the Army Corps of Engineers since the 1990s to “renourish” the Ocean City beach.
“These projects are absolutely vital to the protection of property in Ocean City,” the mayor wrote. “The south end also remains on schedule for replenishment sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.”
Separately, the city said another phase of its boardwalk reconstruction projects will start Oct. 16 and the area between 10th and 12th Streets will be closed. The boardwalk should be open by March. It’s the fifth and final phase of rebuilding the substructure and decking on the boardwalk.