Suspended project restarts to protect federal funding
(Trenton) - New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials today announced that the project to dredge the Shark River in Monmouth County would resume.
The Shark River channels will be closed starting Tuesday, September 6 at noon until Friday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m. After that, the project will assume a 24/5 schedule closing the channel from Mondays at 7:00 a.m. until Fridays at 7:00 p.m. Work is expected to complete early this winter.
Mariners should be advised that State Aids to Navigation (ATON) have been removed for the duration of the project. All mariners, including those utilizing human powered craft, should be especially alert to project pipeline routes and crossings. Updates to the Local Notice to Mariners should be expected as the project progresses.
The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the pipeline, buoys, dredge and other equipment during this time. NJDOT asks that no one approach the pipeline or dredge under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.
The dredging project was initially included in the list of projects suspended as part of the TTF shutdown. Due to the risk of federal FEMA fund forfeiture, the project is resuming. If the project was delayed further, the funds would have been permanently lost.
Efforts to dredge the Shark River have been underway for well over a decade. After Superstorm Sandy the need to dredge the river increased significantly due to sediment deposited by the storm, impeding navigation within those channels.
Mobile Dredging and Pumping Co. was awarded the $7.6 million contract in the summer of 2015 to restore the state channels to allow safe passage for recreational and commercial traffic. The project requires dredging sediment comprised of sand and silt. The sediment will be hydraulically dredged and piped to a mechanical dewatering operation near the Belmar Marina.
The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on a portion of Shark River, in Neptune City, NJ, from September 1, 2016, through September 30, 2016, while dredging operations are being conducted in the main navigational channel. This safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters during dredging operations and will restrict vessel traffic from transiting the main navigational channel.
This rule is effective from September 1, 2016, through September 30, 2016. During this period, it will only be enforced during the following weekly hours, from 9 a.m. on Mondays through 9 p.m. on Thursdays, with the exception of Labor Day weekend, 6 a.m. Friday September 2, 2016 through 12 p.m. Tuesday September 6, 2016.