The long-awaited dredging of the Shark River will begin soon, the state Department of Transportation announced.
Mobile Dredging and Pumping Co. of Chester, Pa. will remove approximately 102,000 cubic yards of sediment comprised of sand and silt to “restore the state channels to allow safe passage for recreational and commercial traffic,” according to a state release announcing the $7.6 million contract.
Superstorm Sandy is responsible for increasing the sedimentation in the river significantly. The river flows into the Atlantic Ocean between Avon and Belmar.
Crews will hydraulically dredge the sentiment and pump it through a secure welded pipeline to dewatering locations — a portion of the Belmar Marina parking lot in Belmar and Seaview Island in Neptune and then truck it to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center for “beneficial use,” the release says.
“The awarding of this contract comes from the successful partnership of state and local officials,” NJDOT Commissioner Jamie Fox said. “The NJDOT team did an outstanding job pulling together legislators, county, and municipal officials to make this long languishing project a reality. There were many hurdles involved but, thanks to the cooperation of all parties, the Shark River will finally be dredged.”
Fox refers to efforts that have been underway for “well over a decade,” only to be stalled by funding issues and concerns over the location for drying dredged materials.
The state hopes to begin the project in the coming months and finish during the winter of 2016.