A long-planned project to clean and bulk up the shoreline at the eastern portion of the J Street Marina in Seaside Park has been underway since last week and is beginning to take shape.
Last summer, the borough contracted with T.R. Weniger, an excavating firm based in Piscataway, Middlesex County, to clear the site along the bayfront and implement a plan developed by the borough engineer to create a permanent shoreline consisting of a mix of natural features and engineered rip-rap that will stabilize the area.
The area had deteriorated over the years and had pieces of broken concrete strewn about the bayshore, creating a tripping hazard and generally making the area inaccessible. It was also considered to be unsightly by many residents, and was slowly eroding away, closer to the marina slips.
“In the years past, they threw part of the old Berkeley pool in there and other things to stop the erosion,” then-Councilwoman Karen Kroon told Shorebeat. (Kroon has since been appointed the borough administrator.)
The $227,250 contract calls for Weniger to implement a plan created by Remington and Vernick, the borough’s engineer of record. Mayor John Peterson said the plan consists largely of elements of a “living shoreline,” which uses plants and natural materials to stabilize the shoreline, combined with hardened features such as rip-rap, bulkheading and professionally-engineered features that will protect the integrity of the marina site. It will also remove some of the more hazardous aspects of the site as it currently exists, such as mounds of broken concrete and other debris.
The council was motivated to award the contract over the summer after bids came back about $100,000 under engineers’ estimates. The project was originally slated to begin during the fall, but equipment and initial clearing of the site started over the last two weeks.
It is expected that the small living shoreline along the marina will eventually “connect” with the living shoreline being planned for the adjacent area, though that project remains mired in permitting red tape.