Seaside Park officials said they were about two weeks away from submitting a permit application to the state Department of Environmental Protection to repair an area of erosion near a popular bayfront pier that some say has become unsafe for visitors.
The erosion is located next to a small dock used for kayak launches at the foot of the 14th Avenue pier in Barnegat Bay. Last year, the borough appointed a professional engineering firm to handle the design of a project that will repair the erosion and implement a permanent fix that will prevent the area from being undermined by the bay.
According to officials, the terrain in the area has suffered from chronic erosion in such a way that the integrity of the shoreline, surrounding bulkheads and structures could begin to deteriorate quickly if a fix is not applied. Because of the gravity of the situation – and also because the property backs up to the border with Berkeley Township – Seaside Pard decided to hire an engineering firm to design the fix.
Borough crews will perform the actual construction work, which will include the installation of a Gabion-style retaining wall. Gabion is a company that manufactures a number of wall elements, and has used its “erosion basket” system to success in controlling flooding in other parts of the country.
The engineer “has some more work to do on the permit application, so he anticipates in a couple of weeks, the application will be complete and he will submit it to DEP,” said Borough Administrator Karen Kroon.
“In a perfect world, it would take 120 days to review it and approve it,” Kroon added. “The work we can do on our end is almost done, then it will go to the state, and after that we can move to the construction phase.”
The borough’s public works department has already sourced the project equipment and is ready to make the repairs as soon as a permit is issued.
“It will be a little laborious – a lot of it is hand-work since you can’t get a machine in there,” Kroon said.
Meanwhile, the borough is keeping tabs on the location and making temporary repairs as needed.
“They’ve been filling it back in, but they’re trying to do a permanent fix,” said Councilman Frank “Fritz” McHugh. “There was just a big wash-out.”
In early 2022, the engineering firm CME Associates was selected to design the project.