LONG BRANCH: City officials are saying the Army Corps of Engineers’ beach replenishment project is about 77 percent complete.
“We’re now completed from Cottage Place north to Seaview (Avenue),” Long Branch Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Stan Dziuba said. “They’re now working on the Takanassee Lake area to Cottage. Currently, right now they’re just about to the Brighton Avenue steps.”
Dziuba said the work is “tentatively” expected to be completed by June 17.
Even though work is nearing completion, he said not all of the city’s beaches will be open in time for Memorial Day weekend.
“Unfortunately at this time, since they’re pumping in that area, looks like next weekend we’re not going to be able to open the West End beaches, the Brighton Avenue beach or the New Court beach (for Memorial Day weekend),” he said.
There is a chance the New Court beach could be open this weekend, but Dziuba said the Brighton Avenue and West End Avenue beaches will likely both be closed.
“They’re moving quickly and it looks like two weekends before we can get that open but it will be a game day decision,” he said.
“If we can open it at all, we will,” City Administrator Howard Woolley said.
Dziuba said another change this summer is the drop off of sand when bathers first enter the ocean.
“It runs from 2 feet to 4 feet in certain areas and it’s not straight down anymore, it’s starting to taper and it’s just something that’s going to have to be monitored by us,” Dziuba said.
He said the slope will become more gradual over time and that city lifeguards are aware of the deeper water people will be swimming in this summer.
The $40 million federally-funded project, which began in November, is pumping 3.3 million cubic yards of sand onto the city's beaches, which will be about 250 feet wide once the work is completed.