US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center Website

Ventnor, Backbay Bulkheads, NJ

Published Dec. 17, 2014


AUTHORITY: This project is authorized by Section 205 of the River and Harbor Act of 1962 (PL 87-874), as amended (Flood Damage Reduction). Section 205 provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to develop and construct small flood reduction projects. Each project is limited to a Federal cost of not more than $10 million, including all project related costs for feasibility studies, planning, engineering, design, and construction.

DESCRIPTION: The Ventnor City flood risk management study is located in Ventnor City, Atlantic County, New Jersey. The study area is located on the back bay side of Ventnor City along a Federal navigation channel known as the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJIWW) and the Inside Thorofare. The study area extends from the municipal boundary between Ventnor City and Atlantic City at the street end of North Jackson Avenue to the street end of North Surrey Avenue. The area has an approximate length of 0.5 mile and extends for approximately 12 city blocks. It is primarily composed of low lying residential city streets. The area has historically experienced flooding problems which are increasing in frequency, duration, and intensity and are caused by the combined effects of tidal events and heavy precipitation during hurricanes and major nor'easters.

A Federal Interest Determination was completed by the District and approved by North Atlantic Division in FY14. Funds were received from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Public Law 113-2, enacted to assist in the recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  A Feasibility Cost Share Agreement needs to be executed with a non-Federal sponsor to proceed with the feasibility phase. 

The objectives of the study are:

  • Prepare the Feasibility Report for the project
  • Prepare an Environmental Assessment and NEPA documentation for the project,
  • Prepare a Project Management Plan (PMP) for the Design and Implementation Phase,
  • Develop other supporting plans (e.g. Real Estate Plan, Value Engineering, etc.) as needed for completion of the Feasibility Report.

CHALLENGES: One of the technical challenges faced with the project is formulating cost-effective flood protection alternatives that are compatible with highly developed backbay shorelines.  Some of the less costly alternatives may not be feasible because they require a large footprint or would interfere with existing infrastructure (docks, marinas, piers, etc).  Structural options such as bulkheads, revetments, etc. could be cost prohibitive over entire project reaches.

HURRICANE SANDY: Hurricane Sandy impacted  the community of Ventnor on the ocean and bay side.  Response and Recovery efforts by the Community was the top priority for the non-Federal sponsor.  Efforts are shifting to the long-term sustainability of Ventnor. 

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:  Potential solutions to the issue include flood walls, vinyl bulkhead, wooden bulkhead, flood-proofing, flood warning and or evacuation of damage elements.  These solutions will be evaluated in the feasibility phase.  

SPONSOR: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection 

PROJECT MANAGER: Jane Jablonski, P.E.