Dune Repair, Dune Walk-Overs, Grass Plantings (Army Corps of Engineers Project Update)

The city just updated the March 19th City Council agenda with plans to move forward with the fed-funded Army Corp of Engineer project. Separate from the boardwalk rebuild, this Army Corp project will answer all your questions on how your house, business and sanity will be safe from future super storms.


Item #8: “City desires to amend the current agreement in order for Coastal  Planning and Engineering to assist the City with a Dune Repair Project, consisting of the  preparation of plans and specifications for dune repair, for the dunes walk-overs and grass planting, as well as assist in the bidding process, construction administration services and acquire permits from the DEC for said projects;”

Now, how high will those dunes be? High enough to make Frank Herbert proud, I hope. Wait, will they block our views? Are they even enough to protect us? Well, incorporated walk-overs tells me that there will be no more “pathways” like what the West End dunes had. Every dune entrance to the beach will most likely  have a walk-over or they will be breached with ease. Remember a few years ago when the City of Long Beach got in trouble by the DEC for widening the paths through the dunes in the West End? I can’t seem to find the article… but yeah, those paths have to go. I think. Right?

We shall find out tomorrow at City Council, 7PM.



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26 thoughts on “Dune Repair, Dune Walk-Overs, Grass Plantings (Army Corps of Engineers Project Update)”

  1. Why would they do this separate from the boardwalk rebuild? They go hand in hand…

    Also don’t know if anyone saw on the news but here’s what Seaside Heights is doing for their boardwalk.This includes completely new pylons 21 feet into the ground and for a lot less money and they’ve already finished the 1st phase of construction. Why is our boardwalk going to cost $40 million???

    “The $3.6 million project will replace about a mile of boardwalk, and by using heavier bolts, hurricane straps and huge 25 foot piles, builders say it will be much stronger than before.”

  2. Hey stevelb,

    I don’t know much about the Seaside Heights boardwalk except for what I found after Googling for 30 seconds, but did you know that $3.6mil isn’t the total cost? They’re still planning on spending a $6-7mil sea wall ($40mil includes our wave-break wall). They’re planning on spending an unknown amount on lighting and rails ($40mil includes new lights and rails for us). Here’s my source:


    So right away, you’re at closer to $15mil, not $3.6mil.

    Oh, did you see that article mentions their boardwalk is 1 mile long, not 2.2 miles? Multiply $15mil by 2.2 and you get $33mil.

    So really, you’re not comparing $3.6mil to $40mil, you’re comparing $33mil to $40mil. Who knows what else they’re not including in their $3.6mil number.

    I’m sure if you do some more digging, we can find even more reasons that you’re comparing apples to oranges. What type of material are they using, exotic hardwoods with a long lifespan? Or a cheaper material that won’t last as long? How many ramps do they need? Are they building a concrete section?

    You ask why this (the building of dunes) is separate from the boardwalk rebuild. Do you expect the Army Corps of Engineers to build the boardwalk too? That might be a little outside of their intended scope.

    Please, before you get all upset and outraged, do some research.

  3. My point was that the design of dunes/sea-wall and the boardwalk should be done as a single design and build, regardless of how they are funded, since the projects are directly related and will likely overlap physically. Project engineering 101 is that it is cheaper and more efficient to build something once as complete as possible, rather than trying to retrofit a sea wall later on.

    Also, you are incorrect in comparing our wave break to the seawall Seaside Heights is getting. A sea wall is a thick wall (perhaps 20 feet thick) and structurally reinforced so that when there is a surge it protects us from the water. The wave-break is fiberglass on the beach facing side of the boardwalk which will absorb the shock of the waves from hitting the boardwalk with full strength. It’s meant to diffuse the power of waves hitting it. As soon as a surge comes up the beach the fiberglass will buckle and give way as it is not built to retain water. The sea wall is and therefore will protect us by not giving way to the massive amount of weight of the ocean against it.

    Yes I saw it’s for 1 mile of boardwalk, so I’m comparing our $40m to their $7.2m for 2 miles of boardwalk. I’ll give you the difference on the wood and the ramps, but we are reusing our pylons (last I’ve heard) and not re installing them all 21 feet into the ground which takes a lot of machinery and labor. If the boardwalk was to be built on top of a sea wall the wave-break would not be needed, saving another expensive item. These are the points I’m getting at, they should be designed together 🙂

  4. Adding to what Brian wrote, it all has to do with funding. The boardwalk & CIty protection are separate, according to the feds (aka FEMA and Army Corp).

    Lucky, the Army Corp protect will be fully funded. FEMA, on the other hand, will replace our boardwalk, but we all know it can’t be the same old boardwalk that we had before.

    Also, comparing boardwalks is like comparing apples & oranges.

  5. Yeah I agree on the funding Anthony but designing together would save all parties money 🙂

    Is the Army Corp really fully funding the protection? Last time around Long Beach had to kick in $6m which is one of the reasons we did not do it…

  6. Stevelb, I haven’t checked out Sideside’s boardwalk rebuild, but does it also include bathrooms, ticket booths, new lights? Also, construction cost in NY is a lot higher than other states.

  7. I think it’s strictly a boardwalk… I would agree on the construction costs it if was NY and Idaho, but not NY and NJ they’re pretty much inline 🙂

  8. “A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report to be distributed to federal lawmakers on Monday lists it among projects eligible for 100 percent federal funding as part of the aid package, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. The report also authorizes 100 percent federal funding of a storm protection plan for Long Beach. A recent estimate put that project’s cost at about $150 million.”

    This was passed.

  9. for what it’s worth, while seaside might be using 21 foot pylons, they’re driving them 18′ into the ground, as the boardwalk is all but 3′ above the beach in most places. My guess is, this too would help drive their constructions costs down quite a bit. labor works much quicker from the ground.

    as for coupling the boardwalk with the army corp plan, what makes you think they didn’t? their voting on moving forward with the ACE plan roughly two weeks after the boardwalk plan. is it too hard to imagine that the city and its engineering firm weren’t keeping in constant contact with all parties throughout the planning process of both?

  10. The Long Beach $20M per mile boardwalk plan is far and away the mostly costly proposal in the entire region of boardwalks that were destroyed. It’s either going nowhere, or the City is going to bankrupt the taxpayers in LB by bonding the millions that FEMA will not pay for, to fund this insanity. My prediction is – the section between National and Long Beach Road will be built to accommodate the high $$$ oceanfront properties like the Allegria and for the summer festivals, then the project will halt because of “funding problems” and the other sections to the east and west will never be built.

  11. So what is the truth – is this cost absurdly high or is it reasonable/not comparable to other boardwalks for whatever reason

  12. Re: Exotic hardwoods that last a long time.

    The Rockaway Boardwalk was rebuilt years ago using ipe, the wood proposed for LB. It was all fastened with very large countersunk stainless steel screws. Within a few years the boards were all loose. When you rode over it on a bike it sounded like a xylophone, “bonk, bonk, bonk”. All of that is currently being replaced by concrete. Ipi is said to “not rot”. I saw numerous instances of rot, usually at the end grain areas. Boards loosened because the wood beneath the screwheads deteriorated.
    They will be spending a mint on the new boardwalk. Before spending, they need to take a good hard look at the Rockaway failures

  13. The cost is crazy high compared to other projects, that is the truth. $20M per mile is insanity. The City is banking on some political back room deal to “convince” FEMA to fund it. The problem is, if they sign a contract with a construction company before the FEMA money is in hand, what happens when FEMA doesn’t pay the whole bill? They are going to bond millions then to cover the gap, and raise property taxes even more? The City is already borrowing to meet current spending, already raising taxes, and now this $40M boardwalk? Property taxes on a typical house are going to exceed $15K in LB shortly, plus all the insurance rate hikes that are coming. Who can afford to own here anymore? Everyone’s attention is deflected from the big issues facing LB’s future – whether its food trucks or some other meaningless story. That’s not going to make or break Long Beach, what’s going to make or break it is the ability of the residential tax base to survive here.

  14. Is there a reason we don’t use pressure-treated wood on the boardwalk? The presentation from the design company said the old boardwalk was “pressure treated beams and yellow pine decking”?

  15. Stevelb: The “yellow pine” referred to was all pressure treated too. The treatment was to prevent rot or fire. Usually the boards were damaged by the constant truck traffic thereon long before they could rot. Ironically, the boardwalk “maintenance” crew’s fleet of trucks caused most of the damage–it was self perpetrating. First they break it, then they repair it, then they break it again. Insanity.

  16. Kayo, another problem is that Rockaway – like LB is planning – was attaching ipe to treated joists which fail first, hence all the loose screws. Overweight vehicles which overflex the joists and decking help loosen things further. 2×6 Ipe is over $8/lnft while TimberSil is under $3/lnft. Using something like TimberSil for the joists and decking where wood will be would cut more than 6 million dollars.

  17. When the LB Boardwalk was designed a 2000 lbs Model T was probably the heaviest vehicle around. Today’s 10,000 lbs vehicles are just too much for timber joists and by code the LBNY boardwalk should be able to hold a 20,000 lbs vehicle. Unless the boardwalk is rebuilt with concrete joists or something like this material – http://tinyurl.com/HCB-Boardwalk – heavy vehicles will continue to cause problems.

  18. I think this is incorrect information. Since LB’s main income is from beach goers, they will probably make pathways for some summer months. We are only threatened during hurricane season. This storm revealed wooden jetties in the east end which were constructed in early 1900s making Sandy a 100 year storm. Many beaches survive hurricanes without 20 ft. piles of sand lining the beach. Most of the water came from the bay while all of the sand came from the beach.

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