The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has awarded a $12.7 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for renourishment of the beach in Ocean City, Maryland -- an important part of ensuring the continued long-term performance of the coastal storm risk management project there.
The renourishment will involve the placement of roughly 900,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach at Ocean City to restore the engineered beach berm to its full design elevation. Work on the beach is expected to begin sometime after the Labor Day holiday.
The beach berm, which is the wide, flat beach in front of the boardwalk and dunes, is an engineered beach that is an element of the overall coastal storm risk management project at Ocean City.
“Most people may not realize it, but the beach at Ocean City enjoyed by so many visitors is actually an engineered beach that is designed to be part of a system to reduce coastal storm damages,” said Project Manager Justin Callahan. “This renourishment is an important part of the long-term commitment to maintaining this coastal storm risk management project and we’re delighted to be able to begin work later this year.”
The coastal storm risk management project at Ocean City consists primarily of the 8-plus mile-long wide, flat beach berm constructed to 7 feet above mean high tide, backstopped by a concrete-capped steel sheet pile bulkhead along the boardwalk and a vegetated sand dune north of the boardwalk to the Maryland-Delaware state line.
Renourishment of the beach is part of the long-term construction schedule of the coastal storm risk management project. It is generally carried out every four years, but will begin ahead of schedule this year to repair the impacts to the project from the January 2016 storm often referred to as Winter Storm Jonas.
This contract includes roughly $2.5 million of funds recently allocated through the Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan that allows for the project to be restored to its full design template, rather than restored to conditions that would have existed prior to Winter Storm Jonas.
The coastal storm management project is a partnership with the State of Maryland, Worcester County, and the Town of Ocean City. It’s estimated that since initial construction began on the project in the early 1990s, it has prevented more than $900 million in damages to Ocean City.