Dredging Restores Prime Boating Areas in New Jersey

Three dredging projects to restore waterways in Monmouth County, New Jersey, to navigable depths, some for the first time in 30 years, have been completed.  Many of the channels in Shark River, Shrewsbury, and Keansburg had been shoaled in since Superstorm Sandy (2014). The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has invested $20.2 million on dredging projects to restore these channels, as well as channels in Barnegat Bay and Forked River. This investment is part of a comprehensive State Channel Dredging and Emergency Response Program, established in March 2014 following Superstorm Sandy, to ensure and maintain safe navigation statewide, and to continue to ensure adequate response to waterway impacts from named storms.

From November 2015 through winter 2017, NJDOT’s contractor, Mobile Dredging and Video Pipe Inc., removed approximately 70,000 cubic yards of material from the Shark River Channels. The $7.6 million project was completed in phases to comply with federal regulations that prohibit dredging work between January and June 30. The first phase removed nearly 50,000 cubic yards of material to bring channel widths to 75 feet wide and 6 feet deep. Beginning in September 2017, phase two removed 20,000 cubic yards of material.

Dredging was performed with a 10-inch swinging ladder dredge pumping through more than 6,000 feet of pipeline. Sediment dewatering was accomplished by using geosynthetic tubes, and mechanical dewatering equipment including dewatering screens, hydrocyclones, clarifiers and belt filter presses. The project used Seaview Island that was permitted as part of the original project plan as a dewatering area. The dried dredge material was trucked to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center to be used as daily cover.

Beginning in September 2017, NJDOT’s contractor, Tri State Dredging, under a $1 million contract, removed approximately 13,000 cubic yards of sand from critical shoals in Monmouth Beach Channel and Rumson Country Club Y Channels. The channels connect directly to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Long Branch Reach Channel, which is the only means in the Shrewsbury Basin to get out to the Sandy Hook Inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The Monmouth Beach Channel was restored to a depth of 6 feet, while the Rumson Country Club Y Channel was dredged to a depth of 5 feet. Dredged sand was piped onto Monmouth Beach.

In December 2017, NJDOT’s contractor Wickberg Marine Contracting removed approximately 4,700 cubic yards of sandy material through 2,000 feet of pipe to restore Waackaack Creek to an authorized depth of 6 feet. The $375,000 project eliminated a sand shoal in the channel, which serves as the main entry to the Keansburg floodgate, which protects Keansburg, Hazlet and Middletown from coastal storm flooding. The dredged material was placed in the Keansburg Confined Disposal Facility (CDF).