A sea wall project, approved by the federal government in lieu of a traditional dune after years of litigation, is nearing completion in Point Pleasant Beach.
The installation of the wall began in October at its southern terminus at Trenton Avenue. The wall has continued up through the area near Inlet Beach by the Jenks North cafe and bar. The $7 million project is being financed completely privately by the Storino (the owner of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk) family as part of an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection. The Storino family had sued the state to prevent dunes from being built in Point Pleasant Beach, arguing it would hurt their oceanfront businesses, and ultimately agreed to build the wall instead.
The wall, unlike traditional beach replenishment projects under which a 22-foot high wall is built, will preserve the view of the ocean from the boardwalk. But it will not be anchored by dune grass, a key aspect of how natural and engineered dune systems work. The area included in the project also did not receive a beach widening, however beaches there are generally as wide as those that were replenished.
The wall varies in height depending on grade.
“In some areas it will be five feet [tall] and in some areas it will be six or seven feet,” former Mayor Stephen Reid said when the project began. “It’s probably the best way to combat storms. As we all know, sand moves, and we especially know it because it all ended up in our streets.”
Plenty of heavy equipment remained scattered throughout most of the town’s oceanfront this week, including tools that are used to construct new beach entrances that will prevent water from funneling into local streets – a major cause of flooding during Superstorm Sandy.
The aesthetics are still in a Spartan phase – steel sheetpile with an industrial cap.
“There’s going to be wood build around it, it’s going to be capped, and it’s going to look very nice,” said Reid at the time. “Everything the Storinos build for their business is attractive and this will be very nice.”
The entire project is expected to be completed by early spring, and Shorebeat will monitor progress and keep everyone updated through then.