Ocean City Today

Beach replenishment contract awarded

Great Lakes Dredge Co. will begin $12.7 million project year earlier than planned
By Brian Gilliland | Jul 13, 2017

(July 14, 2017) The U.S Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that it has awarded a $12.7 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to add 900,000 cubic yards, or nearly a million tons of sand to Ocean City’s beach this fall.

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 in 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 Army Corps 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 corps routinely hires contractors to perform this type of work, though smaller jobs are often handled by the corps’ own dredges Currituck and Murden, Chris Gardner, corps spokesman, said.

Beach replenishment 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 a January 2016 winter storm.

This contract includes roughly $2.5 million of recently allocated funds, Gardner wrote in a release, to allow the beach to be restored to its full design template, rather than restored to conditions that would have existed prior to the winter storm.

The coastal storm risk management project template in Ocean City consists of the long, wide, flat beach berm constructed to seven feet above mean high tide, backstopped by a concrete-capped steel sheet pile bulkhead along the Boardwalk, and the sand dune north of the Boardwalk that runs up to the Maryland-Delaware state line.

The coastal storm management project is a partnership with the State of Maryland, Worcester County, and the Town of Ocean City.

Gardner 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.

Work on the beach is expected to begin sometime after Labor Day.

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