South End Beach Dredging Finally Complete in Ocean City

first_imgLong-suffering south end property owners have a new beach protecting their homes in Ocean City.The Liberty Island leaves Ocean City on Tuesday, Sept. 29, after completing work on the south end beach replenishment project.At about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, the hopper dredge Liberty Island was seen chugging off toward the northern horizon, having completed its work dumping 1.47 million cubic yards of new sand onto the beaches between 37th and 59th streets. Work crews were removing pipeline from the beach.The beach replenishment project began in mid-April and originally was scheduled to be complete by early July, but an 11-week dredge repair pushed the end of the project into the fall.The work was part of a $57 million project to rebuild eroded beaches and dunes in southern Ocean City, Strathmere and Sea Isle City. The federal government paid for 100 percent of the work as part of an effort to protect coastal property in the wake of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, which flattened dunes and let the ocean meet the bay at parts of the southern end of the island.South end owners for years had complained that they were being spurned while the north end beaches in Ocean City were replenished every three years by the federal Army Corps of Engineers. But the entire island will now be part of a three-year cycle for renourishment projects.Sand-pumping operations are complete, Army Corps spokesman Richard Pearsall confirmed on Tuesday. But the contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, will take another week or so to remove equipment from the beach and to shape dune crossovers. That work possibly could be delayed by the wet and windy weather in the forecast for later this week, Pearsall said.The final piece of the project will be the planting of dune grass, which will take place seasonally in November, along with the installation of dune fencing.The entrance to Corson’s Inlet State Park remained closed on Tuesday, but restoring vehicle and pedestrian access to the park will be a priority, according to Pearsall.The new high and wide beaches — a trip from the bulkhead to the water’s edge at 58th Street, for instance, measured 281 yards on a handheld GPS last week — lost some sand to last week’s northeast swell. But with the sand now distributed across the shallow surf, the steep shorebreak that developed over the summer appears to have leveled off a bit. The beaches show little sign of erosion or “cliffing” (when the waves eat into the initial slope of a rebuilt beach).Heavy rain and strong northeast winds are expected to return through the weekend, providing a new test for the rebuilt beaches.A pre-construction meeting for a north-end renourishment project between Seaspray Road and 15th Street is expected to take place next week.______Sign up for free breaking news alerts and daily updates on Ocean City news. The rebuilt beach at 48th Street appears desert-like on Tuesday, Sept. 29., as the south end beach replenishment project comes to a close.last_img read more