After returning to port for about a week during a northeast gale, the hopper dredge Liberty Island was back at work pumping new sand onto the beach at the southern end of Ocean City on Monday (Sept. 28).
It’s estimated that only 17,000 cubic yards needs to be delivered before the project is complete — an amount that can be transported in about a day.
But by 5 p.m. Monday, only one load of sand had been transported due to the continuing rough seas. The sand-pumping likely will be complete by Tuesday evening.
The project will have added 1.6 million cubic yards of sand to rebuild eroded beaches and dunes between 37th and 59th streets in Ocean City. The pipeline pumping sand extended past 59th Street on Monday, and crews were working to taper the wide beach to the narrower strand at Corson’s Inlet State Park, which is not part of the project area.
After sand-pumping is complete, the contractor will remove pipeline and equipment from the beach and work on completing dune crossovers. Dune grass will be planted seasonally starting in November.
The rebuilt beaches at the south end appeared to hold up well against a week of exceptionally high tides and pounding surf from last week’s northeast swell.
Beaches at Fifth Street and Waverly on the north end did not fare as well — with the waves eating into the dunes.
But beach replenishment work could move to the north end as early as mid-October.
A separate dredge, the Illinois, is expected to complete work in Sea Isle City (part of the same $57 million project as southern Ocean City) in early October. The dredge will be transported straight to Ocean City after the job in Sea Isle is done.
A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for next week. The project area would range from Ocean City’s first jetty at Seaspray Road to 15th Street.
The last north end replenishment in 2013 was scheduled to be completed in about three months (and took just slightly longer due to weather and mechanical delays). That schedule would complete the work by mid-January.