Belmar, Lake Como Await Final OK for Stalled Ocean Avenue Outfall Project

After a nearly two-year wait, construction of a $6.2 million federally funded discharge pipeline is expected soon, replacing these temporary pumps that are set up at Lake Como during heavy rains. Credits: Cathy Goetz
The temporary pumps at Lake Como have been a common sight during times of heavy rain, like last week, when the potential of flooding increases and threatens surrounding homes. Credits: Cathy Goetz

BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — With the recent heavy rains, the temporary pumps at Lake Como have been working overtime to prevent the lake from spilling over its banks.

The situation has many residents with homes sitting in this flood-risk area of Belmar and Lake Como asking: Whatever happened to the $6.2 million project to install a discharge piping system into the ocean that will ease their flooding fears?

After a nearly two-year wait, the federally funded project may soon be under way. Since Belmar received the Superstorm Sandy relief aid from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in May 2015, officials have been working through a regulatory maze to gain a multitude of approvals and permits from federal, state and county agencies.

Sign Up for E-News

“We’ve gone through lots of hoops for a large, very important project that comes with 13 different agency approvals,” Belmar Borough Administrator Colleen Connolly said. “We have now cleared all hurdles but one, and we’re hoping to get that approval shortly, and then we can go out to bid.”

That final approval is in the hands of the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Dam Safety and Flood Control, after it was learned the Ocean Avenue outfall is classified as a dam. As the result, the project was required to comply with all dam regulations, including the need to install concrete cradles to secure the gravity-fed pipe. However, this $100,000 new expenditure fell out of the project's scope and necessitated further approvals in order to be added to the existing bond.

With confidence building that Belmar will soon receive the final go-ahead for the flood prevention project, borough officials will “get to work as fast as we can,” Connolly said, referring to putting the construction work out to bid as the first step.

Once a contractor is selected, installation will commence on the 60-inch-diameter outfall pipe from Lake Como, replacing an inadequate narrow pipe that now drains into the ocean and prompts the need for the temporary pumps to be set up and turned on when heavy rains hit.

The project will be staged so that it will not have an impact on vehicle and pedestrian traffic along Ocean Avenue during the busy summer months.  If final approval is received in the next several weeks, borough officials are setting a completion date of early 2018.

The $6.2 million project is funded through a $50 million HUD Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery administered through the state DEP’s Flood Hazard Risk Reduction Program. The grants are awarded to fund projects that reduce storm surge or flood risk in order to prevent flooding conditions that occurred during Superstorm Sandy from happening again.

Although Belmar, Lake Como and Spring Lake border the lake, Belmar was given jurisdiction over the project. During the epic storm, this area was under water for more than a week — a major reason why Belmar was among eight municipalities in the state to receive this second round of Superstorm Sandy HUD funding.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Belmar/Lake Como

Princeton Students Achieve Success: Bog Turtle Designated State Reptile

June 19, 2018

TRENTON, NJ — Legislation inspired by students from Princeton designating the endangered bog turtle as the New Jersey state reptile has been signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.

“I am so proud of the successful effort of students at Riverside Elementary and their teacher, Mark Eastburn, to name the bog turtle as New Jersey’s official reptile,”  said Sen.

Upcoming Events


Fri, June 22, 11:00 AM

Taylor Pavilion, Belmar

Belmar Woman's Club Book and Granny's Attic Sale


Fri, June 22, 6:30 PM

Pyanoe Plaza, Belmar

Friday Night Concert Series: Chris Turner and the ...


Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

Calvary Baptist Church, Belmar

Calvary Baptist Church's Giant Jumble Sale


Sat, June 23, 11:00 AM

Mitzi and Emily's Playground, Belmar

Belmar Mini Town Hall Meeting

Keep 12th Avenue with ‘Normal Height’ Homes

June 21, 2018

To the Editor:

Attend the (Belmar Zoning Board of Adjustment) hearing on (Thursday, June 28) to voice your opposition to having two five-story condos of 24 units each on the first block of 12th Avenue. Join your neighbors in protesting this density of buildings and 62-foot height of housing units that will have a negative impact on the residential quality of the neighborhood.

The Belmar Inn ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

JCP&L Completes Inspections and Projects Before Summer to Enhance Customer Service Reliability

June 12, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed inspections and projects across its 13-county service area, including Monmouth County, to enhance customer reliability in preparation for the summer season.

The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and trimming trees along power lines.

Helicopter patrols are ...

Facebook Provides Verification Badges for All TAPinto Facebook Pages

TAPinto and its 75 partner sites have been verified on Facebook with the social media platform's blue badge, which is given to news organizations that meet Facebook's authenticity criteria. 

Facebook gives the blue verification badge to "eligible brands, media organizations and public figures," based on factors that include policy compliance and public ...

Belmar and Lake Como

June 2, 2018

Belmar Police Department reported the following arrests occurred in Belmar and Lake Como from April 1, 2018 to April 28, 2018.


Ryan Miles, 33, of Belmar was charged with contempt on an outstanding warrant after his arrest on April 1 on Route 35 by Police Officer Patrick McGill.

Lisa Perrault, 49, of Long Branch was arrested on 16th Avenue on April 6 by Police Officer Patrick ...