Dredge project accident under investigation

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OCEAN COUNTY — The ongoing beach replenishment project across coastal Ocean County will not be delayed despite one dredge operated by contractor Weeks Marine being forced to stop work Monday when a pipe burst, injuring three workers.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] issued a statement on the incident, which occurred at about 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.

“We are working with Weeks Marine on an investigation of the accident that occurred on the dredge CR McCaskill working off Seaside Park. Three Weeks Marine personnel were injured in the accident,” the statement reads.

“The dredge is currently on standby not actively working as Weeks Marine investigates and makes any potential repairs,” said Stephen Rochette, public affairs officer for USACE. “At this time, Weeks does not know how long that will take, but it is not expected to delay the overall project.”

Seth Johnson, press officer for the United States Coast Guard, said the three injured workers sustained minor injuries when a suction pipe on the dredge burst.

The workers to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

No update was provided on the status of the three individuals by USACE or the Coast Guard. Cranford-based Weeks Marine did not return calls seeking comment.

A daily updated schedule on the USAC website still projects the Seaside Park portion of the dredging project to conclude in November.

According to the website, “[Seaside Park] construction began on Aug. 9 and is estimated to last through late November. The plan is to make the pipe landing near 5th Ave and first pump north, then flip and pump south.”

The project is expected to last until November in Mantoloking before moving to Lavallette, where the replenishment will last until mid-March. After Lavallette concludes, work in Point Pleasant Beach will start and last until mid-April.

All three towns are being worked on by the hopper dredges R.N. Weeks and B.E. Lindholm.

Bay Head’s dunes will be constructed by the dredge Magdalen and will begin in December, and is expectated to conclude in mid-April.

For more on this story, read read next week's edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.