BELMAR, NJ — Dredging in the Shark River channels situated off the Belmar Marina will resume shortly after Labor Day.
Preparations currently are under way to remove the sediment that will open the western portions of the Shark River Channel and Shark River Channel Spur to full depth and width, making it easier and safer for commercial and recreational boaters to navigate those waterways. It specifically addresses concerns by boaters that the “dog-leg turn” of the channel, which wraps around the southern tip of Seaview Island leading to Shark River Inlet, needed to be widened even more.
The work is the second phase of the $7.6 million project launched last summer by the N.J. Department of Transportation (DOT) after nearly two decades of delays and interruptions to remove 102,000 cubic yards of sediment from these navigable channels.
The public is advised to be aware of and stay alert to the pipeline, buoys, dredge and other equipment in the affected Shark River Channel and Shark River Channel Spur areas during the dredging period. The state Department of Transportation asks that no one approach the pipeline, dredge or any related project equipment under any circumstances, whether or not active dredging operations are observed.
Mobilization of equipment was expected to begin on August 7. The project is intended to run on a 12-hour/six-day a week schedule (Monday through Saturday) from September through November and dredging must be complete by December 31, according to DOT.
Channel use will be limited where the dredge is in operation and where the pipeline is carrying dredged material to its placement location.
Boaters are advised that navigational markers will be removed as necessary 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. Channel closures are expected, although this is subject to change.
An area of Seaview Island will continue to be used as a dewatering area for the dredged material — an undertaking that will continue into next spring. As part of the dewatering process, this material will be pumped into geo-tubes that will allow it to dry out enough over time to be trucked for use as daily cover at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls or other local beneficial use, according to DOT.
The attached map shows the location of the Shark River Channel dredging project. The areas in blue represent the location of dredging that will occur this year, and the area in gray represents where the channels were at or below their authorized depth of 6 feet following the 2016 dredging season. The “dog-leg turn” is the portion of the gray area on the bottom right side of the map.
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