Work Begins On Wall For Two Sandy-Devastated Towns

By Wayne Parry

Piles of steel sheeting sit on the beach in Mantoloking N.J.; on Thursday July 10, 2014, shortly before work crews were to begin installing them. A $23.8 million project to build a sea wall to protect Mantoloking and Brick Township, two of the Jersey shore communities hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy, began on Thursday. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) – Two wealthy New Jersey shore towns that were among the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy nearly two years ago began building a 4-mile-long steel wall last month, an expensive effort that the state says is needed to protect the communities but that some residents and environmentalists oppose.

State and local officials watched as the work began where the Atlantic Ocean tore through the sand and cut a channel into Barnegat Bay on the other side of the barrier island the communities share, destroying a major state highway and part of a crucial bridge during the Oct. 29, 2012, storm.

The steel wall will be buried in sand and span the length of Mantoloking, where virtually all of its 521 homes were damaged or wiped off the map, and the oceanfront section of Brick Township, its neighbor to the south, where gas-fed fires burned much of what Sandy did not wash away.

“We stood in this spot where the inlet was cut,” said Robert Martin, New Jersey’s environmental protection commissioner. “We knew we needed to do more than just put some more sand on the beach.”

The 45-foot-long steel sheets will be driven 30 feet into the ground and eventually covered by sand, which will form a dune system 22 feet above sea level. In December or January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin a beach replenishment project to widen the beach in front of the wall to 300 feet.

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Posted by on Aug 1st, 2014 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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