With New Jersey’s busy summer season just beginning, Senator Vin Gopal, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey are pleased that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has completed two dredging projects in the 11th Legislative District.
The NJDOT recently announced the completion of dredging projects in the Shark River and the Shrewsbury River. These projects were vital in restoring these local waterways, many of which had been shoaled in since Superstorm Sandy, limiting boating options, emergency response, and commercial vessel traffic in the area. These channels are now considered to be in a state of good repair for the 2018 boating season, and will provide access to enhanced recreational and economic activity for summer visitors and residents alike.
“It is essential that our local waterways are properly maintained to ensure safe navigability. If our channels are not properly maintained, boaters could potentially hit bottom and get seriously injured. The navigability of our waterways is important to our residents, particularly those who regularly utilize these channels, and we are thrilled to see these projects completed, ” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“We were happy to partner with the state to complete these long overdue projects and we are pleased to see they have been completed in time for summer. As boat traffic increases, it is imperative that we keep our channels as safe as possible and that begins with navigability. We are grateful to the NJDOT for working with us to get these projects done and look forward to a safe summer of boating,” said Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated more than just our beaches. Our waterways were also severely damaged following the storm, requiring significant remediation. We are thrilled to see these vital waterways restored so our residents may enjoy them, our emergency responders can reach boaters in need and commercial vessels can safely reach their destinations,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey.
Beginning in November 2015, and continuing through winter 2017, NJDOT’s contractor, Mobile Dredging and Video Pipe, Inc., removed approximately 70,000 cubic yards of material from the Shark River Channels to return the channels to a state of good repair for the first time in more than 30 years.
The $7.6 million project, done in partnership with Monmouth County, Neptune Township, Neptune City, and Belmar, was completed in phases to comply with federal regulations that prohibit dredging work between January and June 30. The first phase removed nearly 50,000 cubic yards of material to bring channel widths to 75 feet wide and 6-feet deep.
Beginning in September 2017, phase two removed 20,000 cubic yards of material, with contractors working 6 days a week and 12 hours a day to achieve full navigational status in Shark River Bay State Channels.
Beginning in September 2017, NJDOT’s contractor, Tri State Dredging, removed approximately 13,000 cubic yards of sand from critical shoals in Monmouth Beach Channel and Rumson Country Club Y Channels. The channels connect directly to the United States Army Corps of Engineers Long Branch Reach Channel, which is the only means in the Shrewsbury Basin to get out to the Sandy Hook Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean.
The $1 million dollar project restored the Monmouth Beach Channel to an authorized depth of seven feet, and the Rumson Country Club Y Channel to six feet. Sand from the dredging project was used to bolster the beach, which is subject to strong erosion. The material was transferred using a complex land and sea based system of piping, all designed to comply with state and federal standards with minimal impact to a high vessel traffic channel, vehicular traffic on Route 36, as well as to home and business owners.