Army Corps releases list of future dune projects for Delaware and New Jersey

A long-awaited report from the Army Corps of Engineers was submitted to Congress and released to the public on Wednesday.

The report – which many local municipalities at one-time erroneously believed would contain scheduling information for dune construction projects – was required as part of The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. It was supposed to be submitted to Congress by May 1.

In the end, the report is most notable as confirmation of projects the Army Corps will undertake as part of recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy, but the timeline to start these projects has not yet been determined.

“There’s no conceivable scenario where these would start this summer,” said Ed Voigt, the chief of public and legislative affairs for the Army Corps’s Philadelphia district. “The earliest project on that list probably wouldn’t begin in calendar year 2013.”

Voigt said the projects listed still need work in four general areas: funding (which has largely been approved, but not yet allocated), real-estate easements to permit construction on privately owned land, new or revised partnership agreements between state and federal agencies, and updates to plans and budgets that are now several years old in some areas. Listed prices are estimates that are likely to change.

The Army Corps will focus its initial efforts in the coming months on restoring beach projects that have previously been completed.

A more comprehensive report, which “will address the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations” is currently under development, but likely won’t be completed for at least another year and a half.

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