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Absecon Island Coastal Storm Risk Management

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UPDATED: February 2016


APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Construction, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction

AUTHORITY: This project was authorized under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996. 

LOCATION: Absecon Island extends approximately 8.1 miles along the Atlantic coast of New Jersey from Absecon Inlet to Great Egg Harbor Inlet.

DESCRIPTION: The project provides flood and coastal storm damage reduction along Absecon Island. The selected plan includes beach fill, with a 200-foot-wide berm and a dune to elevation +14.75 feet for Atlantic City and a 100-foot wide berm and a dune to elevation 12.75 for Ventnor, Margate and Longport. The plan also includes 0.3 miles of bulkhead construction along the Absecon Inlet frontage of Atlantic City. 

Project Goals: The purpose of this project provides hurricane and coastal storm damage reduction along Absecon Island, beach fills with berm. and dunes.

STATUS: Initial construction of the beachfill in Atlantic City and Ventnor City was completed in Jun 2004. The second nourishment cycle was scheduled for FY07 but did not receive funding.  Funding provided in FY08, FY09 and FY10 were inadequate to initiate the second nourishment cycle.  FY11 funds were used to award a contract to complete the 2nd renourishment cycle.  The contract was awarded in Sep 2011with construction completed in Jun 2012. FY12 funds were used for project monitoring and completion of the Plans & Specifications for the construction of the initial section of the Atlantic City bulkhead. This contract was originally advertised on 28 Aug 2012. However, based on contractor questions and necessary design changes in light of Hurricane Sandy in Oct 2012 the advertisement was delayed.

Between Oct 27 & 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to the New Jersey coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May and up the Delaware Bay.  In response, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on January 29, 2013 as Public Law 113-2 (Act).

The legislation provides supplemental appropriations to address damages caused by Hurricane Sandy and to reduce future flood risk in ways that will support the long-term sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and communities, and reduce the economic costs and risks associated with large-scale flood and storm events.

As a result of the storm FCCE funds under Public Law 84-99 were used to complete a Project Information Report (PIR) & PIR Addendum for the completed portions of the project. The results of the PIR & Addendum determined that the project was eligible for FCCE funding to repair & restore the project to pre-storm conditions & design template. PL 113-2 funds were used to award a contract for the repairs and restoration Apr 2013. Repairs & restoration began in Jul 2013 with pumping complete on 12 Dec 2013. Outfall repairs are scheduled to be completed in Dec 2014.

This project is also considered an on-going Authorized but Unconstructed project under P.L. 113-2 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (Hurricane Sandy). The term “authorized but unconstructed project” refers to previously authorized projects for which no physical construction has occurred as well as projects that contain elements where construction has not been completed. Therefore, the remaining initial construction portions of the project may be eligible to be completed at 100% Federal with no sponsor payback. These components include Atlantic City Bulkhead and beachfills at Margate & Longport.

In FY13, FY14 & FY15 $950K has been received to complete the necessary steps to construct initial construction to include completion of Limited Reevaluation Report (LRR), approve and execute a new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA); acquire the necessary real estate; complete plans and specifications; and advertise and award the construction contracts. For this project a HSLRR specific to Hurricane Sandy was completed & approved which recommended moving forward with initial construction under PL 113-2. This HSLRR was used to support the development of a PPA which was executed on 23 Jun 14.

All the necessary real estate acquisitions were completed along with the plans and specifications for the Beachfill & bulkhead contracts. However, real estate acquisition has been challenged in court by City of Margate. Beachfill contract was to be awarded  in Nov 14 but  has been delayed. Once real estate is resolved schedule will be determined. Bulkhead contract was to be awarded in Nov 15 but has been delayed due to an Agency & now GAO protest in Jan 15. GAO protest resolution may take until early Summer 2015. Sandy funds (PL 113-2) totaling $72.95M have been rec’d to complete initial construction. Based on PL 113-2 initial construction will be at 100% Federal with no sponsor payback.

FY15 work plan funds are being used for project monitoring & to award the 2nd periodic nourishment contract for Atlantic City & Ventnor in FY16.

FCCE funds are being used to complete a PIR as a result of damages incurred from Oct 15 nor’easter/Hurricane Joaquin. Draft PIR recommendation is to repair project. If repairs are approved & if adequate funds are provided it is prudent to complete the repairs concurrently with the renourishment contract.





Initial Construction

Jun 2004

2nd Periodic Nourishment Cycle

       Mar 2012

       Jun 2012

FCCE Emergency (Sandy)           July 2013        Dec 2013  

3rd Periodic Nourishment Cycle

     Scheduled for      FY16

Atlantic City & Ventnor - funds have been received

SPONSOR: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Date of Project Agreement: 31 Jul 2003 (PCA); and 23 June 2014 (PPA)

Target Completion Date: 2053

Total Estimated Cost: $550.0 M

Federal Funds Appropriated: $117.6 M (Includes Sandy CG funding)

Non-Federal Share: $23.8035M