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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Ferry Dredge Materials Relocated to Breakwater Road Site

The dredge disposal site

By Carl Price

ERMA – The dump trucks rumbling back and forth on Breakwater Road are not heading to the construction sites at the Cape May County Airport. They are carrying dredge materials from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry site to a lot, owned by Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), on Breakwater Road. Some neighbors are unhappy about it.
Lower Township Manager Jim Ridgway said the municipality has received some complaints from Breakwater Road residents regarding the number of trucks going to the site, and odors coming from the dredge material. After looking into the matter, he assured them the operation was permitted.
“The DRBA has obtained all necessary federal, state and local permits to relocate the dredge spoils from the property at the ferry terminal to the site on Breakwater Road. The soil is tested for contaminants and dewatered. The DRBA is an autonomous organization that we have no authority over,” Ridgway said.
James Salmon, public information officer, DRBA, said he hadn’t heard about odors, but said any smell should abate over time.
“The soil is being moved from our spoils site at the ferry terminal to make way for material that will be removed due to dredging of the berthing area at the terminal. The material being moved has been out of the water for some time, and is similar in composition to topsoil,” Salmon said.
He added that the lot across from the airport was cleared of trees to make it safe for approaching aircraft. He provided a project fact sheet that gave details about the operation:

  • The contract was awarded to JPC Group, in Blackwood, at a cost of $3.7 million. The contract duration is for 275 calendar days, and notice to proceed was given Nov. 11, 2019.
  • The quantity of material to be moved is 225,000 cubic yards.
  • The site will be a height of approximately 10 feet above grade to the south and taper to original grade near Breakwater Road.
  • The material being placed has a high organic content and the Soil Conservation District agrees no topsoil or cap is necessary.
  • The contractor is using eight to 12 trucks per day, which equates to 114 to 170 truckloads per day. Work is occurring during daylight hours only. When required, occasional weekend work is also happening.
  • Trucks are alternating between Shunpike and Breakwater roads, so a line of trucks won’t be held up at the Bayshore/Breakwater roads traffic signal in either direction.
  • The stone construction entrances have been enlarged to minimize dirt falling off truck tires onto the road, and there is a full-time street sweeper that passes down all traveled roads, including the ferry facility.

Salmon said that while the contract calls for work to be completed by Aug. 11, the DRBA is working with the contractor to complete the work by the end of March.
To contact Carl Price, email cprice@cmcherald.com.

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