Army Corps returns to Point Beach to replenish dunes

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Sand pumping should be completed by July 18, Borough Administrator Christine Riehl said during Tuesday night’s council meeting. MARK R. SULLIVAN THE OCEAN STAR

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Heavy machinery returned to the beachfront to restore the protective dunes that were lost during May nor’easters and the replenishment should be done within 18 days or less. 

According to a June 24 press release from Rep. Chris Smith [R-NJ], the Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] negotiated a multi-million dollar contract to bring the sand-pumping dredges back to the borough, and work began on Thursday, June 27. 

“The Army Corps of Engineers [USACE] informed me that it negotiated a $3.6 million contract modification to get the dredges back to Point Pleasant Beach,” stated Rep. Smith in the press release. “This is the largest contract of its kind in the history of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — 14 miles long and across multiple towns, and it’s critical that the finished replenishment product is done properly before the site is turned back over to the borough. The residents, businesses, and tourists need the best storm protection possible.”

Rep. Smith had arranged a conference call on June 11 with Lt. Col. Kristen N. Dahle, commander of the USACE Philadelphia District, to “address concerns of local Point Pleasant beach officials and residents,” according to the press release.  

The contract was agreed to on Friday, June 14, and construction was allowed to begin before formal approval was given from the USACE.

“This is a big, big win for Point Pleasant Beach to have them come back and basically finish where they left off, and do it right this time,” said Mayor Stephen Reid before the work began last week. 

“Nothing would have been done without Congressman Smith’s office, and him personally for working on our behalf.”

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