Thursday, February 22, 2024

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No Sand, No Cost for Cape May

 

By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY — While the city did not receive any direct deliveries of sand to its beaches this winter, it is not bearing any expense of a project that is bringing sand to the U.S. Coast Guard base here.
Three weeks ago a meeting was held with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review a project to place 151,000 tons of sand to replenish beaches at the Coast Guard base here.
Rather than use a dredge to provide sand to renourish the beaches, the sand has been brought to the base in dump trucks.
City Manager Bruce MacLeod told City Council at a Feb. 3 meeting, as the project was nearing completion, an option in the contract to place an additional 80,000 tons of sand on the beaches at the base was exercised. Due to available funding in this year’s federal budget, a second contract was issued to add an additional 81,000 tons of sand.
“The project now at its completion will be slightly more than double the original amount,” said MacLeod.
The project places all the sand at the Coast Guard base with none being directly placed on city beaches.
The city will receive a refund of its deposit on the project of $55,000. MacLeod said the city was waiting for a balance amount once the project was completed but upon review, the city will not have to participate on a financial basis.
Mayor Edward J. Mahaney Jr. said that would save the city about $33,000, which will remain in the beach utility for future beach replenishments.
The state will pay in full the local financial share of the project.
MacLeod said it is expected the project will finish in mid February. He said the base is receiving about 9,000 tons of sand each day by truck.
Based on research from the Army Corps and previous beach replenishment programs, it is anticipated sand will migrate from the Coast Base towards the city’s beaches.
Another beach replenishment project is set for Cape May Point using a dredge. MacLeod said while Cape May’s cove and 3rd Avenue beaches were at the far end of that project, they will not receive sand.
He said sand would be placed on a feeder beach closer to Cape May Point State Park.
MacLeod said neither the Coast Guard base nor Cape May Point’s beach replenishment would receive the amount of sand originally anticipated.
Cape May Point will receive about 70,000 cubic yards of sand. The Army Corps will remove sand from Coral and Whilldin avenue beaches, which we overfilled during the last beach replenishment. That sand will be moved to St. Peter’s Beach, according to Cape May Point Commissioner Joe Nietubicz.
He said either Coral or Whilldin beach may be opened to swimmers this summer after being closed last year. Budget constraints may prevent both beaches from opening.

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