Earlier this year, I wrote about how the summer time construction of dunes along our Jersey shoreline would affect beach goers. We knew to expect closures of Margate beaches between June and August. However, the timeline for completion might get pushed back. Earlier this week, an Atlantic County Superior Court judge placed the Margate Dunes Project on hold temporarily due to large water “ponding” on the beach.
Why the Temporary Halt of the Margate Dunes Project?
Last week, Weeks Marine, the contractor in charge of constructing the dune on Absecon Island, tried to create a drainage basin by excavating several feet of sand. Unfortunately, this resulted in a huge pond of stagnate water. The location and size of this pond made it impossible for beach goers to safely navigate around it. In turn, this forced our Commissioner of Safety, John Amodeo, to close down Margate area beaches. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ordered Weeks Marine to pump the water into the ocean to clear out the area.
DEP attorney David Apy gave testimony for what he called “over aggressive” excavation tactics. Judge Julio Mendez agreed to issue a restraining order against continuing construction on the Margate Dunes Project. The matter will be re-evaluated after a meeting with all parties involved on August 11th. The dune project is expected to continue to move along the shoreline to Ventnor later this month. From there, it moves on to Longport in September.
Most Margate Beaches to be Re-Opened
While the Margate Dune Project stays in a holding pattern, the City announced the re-opening of Margate beaches to the public this weekend. This includes returning lifeguard staff to their posts. After bacterial tests came back “normal”, they were deemed safe for beach goers to attend again. However, Huntington Avenue remains the sole closure.
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