Roadway Across Marshes Could Jump Start Bayside Dredging

first_imgThe city hopes to build a temporary roadway to allow truck access to remove material and free up space at a dredging disposal site in the marshes near Roosevelt Boulevard in Ocean City. By Missy RittiFor OCNJ DailyCity Council on Thursday approved two measures that could help turn the tide in the struggle to bring deep water back to Ocean City’s bayfront.Council first agreed to seek bids from companies that can build a temporary roadway from Roosevelt Boulevard to “Site 83” – a nearby site in the marshes where dredged material can be deposited. Council, in a separate resolution, also agreed to award a professional services contract of up to $787,500 for an outside company, ACT Engineering Inc., to continue work on coming up with a master plan for dredging Ocean City’s shallow waters from tip to tip along Ocean City’s bayfront.Ocean City Business Administrator Jim Mallon said the necessity of the first measure hinged largely upon passage of the second.“This way, we can be prepared to bid (for the temporary roadway) in an expeditious manner,” Mallon said.Much of Ocean City’s bayfront is not navigable because the water is so shallow during much of the tide cycle. The city has committed funding to dredging projects to remove material from the floor of the bay to make water deeper. But efforts have been stymied by bureaucratic red tape and lack of a viable place to transport dredged material.“We believe that currently available sites can be optimized to undertake a modest dredging program in 2015,” ACT Engineers writes in its scope and budget proposal. “Therefore, it is recommended that the city proceed with a dredging program for the late summer of 2015 and undertake a significant dredging program in 2016, once CDF capacity can be made available.”See the PDF below for the full text of the ACT Engineers proposal for assessing the work that needs to be done, then doing it. The PDF also includes the council resolution and other documentation.An outside contractor is at work now on a $2.7 million contract to haul just 50,000 cubic yards away from Site 83 – which is filled to capacity – by barge and truck (read more). That work will continue. The roadway would make similar projects more efficient and cost-effective.Though final permits are not in hand, the state Department of Environmental Protection has indicated that things look favorable according to Mallon, who said the City is “optimistic” the roadway can be completed by the end of the year. “We are being aggressive, because the homeowners along the bay want us to be aggressive,” he added.The city will seek bids in anticipation that the final OK will come soon.With regard to the second resolution – the awarding of a professional services contract to ACT Engineering Inc. – Councilman Pete Guinosso asked if the City was underutilizing its own team of engineers by “outsourcing” the job. Mayor Jay Gillian responded that although the City has “great engineers,” the scope of the project has “grown to such an enormity,” it cannot be adequately handled in-house.“We need someone to be on this, 24-7 ,” Gillian added.A public meeting on the dredging project, with an update from ACT, will be held at the Ocean City Senior Center on Aug. 25, at 7 p.m.Download (PDF, 1.05MB)last_img read more