Seven years ago, Hurricane Sandy tore into our Jersey shoreline. New flood guidelines were put into place for home rebuilds at the shore. The Army Corps of Engineers and New Jersey Dept of Environmental Protection proposed the Margate Dunes project. Of course, that brought about its own issues (delays and a major ponding issue among them). All of this meant to address safety concerns for possible future flooding in the area. The Margate bulkhead offers up another area of concern. Recently the City awarded a $1.6 million contract to a Longport builder. Now, they say that the Margate bulkhead rebuild could begin as early as the end of 2019.
Margate Bulkhead Rebuild
While Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc to so many of our homes and businesses along the shore, its actually the back bay surges that hurt our properties the most. Low and deteriorating bulkheads failed to protect local properties. In the aftermath, the Amherst Ave bulkhead experienced even more deterioration. To help protect against future storms, the City required the owners of Cafe Lamberti and the Barbary Coast Marina to repair the bulkhead in front of their properties. The marina’s owners already fortified their portion of the Margate bulkhead. Cafe Lamberti’s owners are currently in the process of shoring up their portion of the bulkhead.
Local residents and visitors complained loudly about the shutdown of parking in the area by police. While they understand the safety issue, they are unhappy with the amount of time it has taken to make the necessary changes. This puts additional strain on already limited parking spaces in the city.
Margate Bulkhead Rebuild Schedule
Longport heavy construction company Trident Piling Co, LLC, won the contract to rebuild the 515 feet of bulkhead on Amherst Ave for the City. They need to order to necessary materials to complete this project. That could take six to eight weeks to receive them. Then, they begin construction. If all goes well, that could mean that construction starts on the new Margate bulkhead as early as the end of 2019.
The contract stipulates that Trident must complete all work by May 15, 2020. If not, the city reserves the right to assess any damages from delays to the project. They plan on raising the bulkhead to eight feet. All of the old, deteriorating material from the bulkheads original 1930s construction will be removed and replaced with composite materials. The rebuild also includes taking out old marine industry utilities and replacing them with brand new equipment, including cable, phone, water, and electric equipment.
Where’s the Money Coming From?
Just like the Margate Boardwalk, money continues to top the list of concerns from local Margate residents. How do we pay for the bulkhead rebuild? In August, the City passed a capital bond ordinance. Money for the rebuild will be taken out of the funding from this bond.