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The City of Ocean City has released an update on the progress of the project that will bring 1.6 million cubic yards onto the beach and dune from 36th to 59th Street. The project has luckily been moved to an earlier state date of April 14, 2015. If the weather and dredge work as the Army Corps of Engineer hope, the project will be completed in the beginning of July. Please see below for more details. Project Description: Ocean City will receive approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of sand on approximately 2.6 miles of beach from 36th Street to 59th Street. Ancillary work includes the construction of pedestrian crossovers and the installation of new dune fence and dune grass. Our neighboring communities , Strathmere and Sea Isle, will also be receiving beach replenishment projects simultaneous with the work in Ocean City. The project is being overseen by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and is 100 % federally funded at a total cost of $ 57 million. There is no local funding towards this project. Contractor: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois. They are the largest dredging operator in North America and have completed large scale dredging projects around the world. The Dredge: The sand will be supplied by a hopper dredge named the “Liberty Island.” The sand will be gathered from a borrow area located approximately 2.5 miles offshore of Strathmere. The dredge will then transport the sand close to shore at one of two landing areas where it will then be pumped onto the beach. Schedule: The contractor has recently begun mobilization in Ocean City. The current project schedule calls for dredging operations to begin on April 14th and be completed in early July, with equipment demobilization to follow. Dredging operations will take place on a 24 hour / 7 day per week basis. Dates may vary and are dependent on weather, equipment and other factors. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Will the beach be closed for the project? No more than 1,000 feet of beach will be closed at any one time. The closed area will shift north or south as the project proceeds. Beaches adjacent to the closed area will be open as normal. Some areas outside of the closed area may have a pipe running parallel to the ocean. Ramps will be constructed over the pipe at each street end and these beaches can be enjoyed as normal. Where will the project begin and how will it proceed? The current plan is for the contractor to establish the first offshore dredge pipe landing near 43rd Street. The contractor will begin pumping sand here moving north to 36th Street (northern project limit). The contractor will then pump south from the 43rd Street landing area to near 49th Street. Next, the contractor will establish a second offshore dredge pipe landing near 55th Street and begin pumping north to 49th Street. The contractor will then pump south from the 55th Street landing area to near 59th Street (southern project limit). When will my beach be closed? At this time it is not possible to estimate exactly when any one particular beach will be closed. Once the project begins and proceeds it may be possible to estimate what beaches will be affected for a relatively short duration of time on a day-to-day basis. Why is this work being done during the summer season? The project is under the control of the Army Corps, and just one of several scheduled up and down the coast as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Ocean City has attempted to have the south end of the island included in the federal beach replenishment program since the 1980’s. It now is and will be replenished on a three year cycle moving forward. While the timing is not ideal, it will allow for the project to be completed prior to the height of the hurricane season and the winter storm season. While everyone will enjoy bigger and better beaches, the project is really about protecting billions of dollars of public and private property from future storm damage. It simply would not be responsible for Ocean City to decline this project because of its timing. The City will work very closely with the Army Corps and the contractor to minimize any inconvenience. What will Ocean City do to minimize the inconvenience for residents and guests? The City will be providing free shuttle service from the closed area to adjacent beaches that are open. The shuttle service will tentatively begin on Memorial Day Weekend.
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