The clock is ticking until Memorial Day but Jersey Shore Congressman Chris Smith has announced that beach restoration work in Point Pleasant Beach is being made to address the erosion caused by the persistent rain over the past week.

The army corps of engineers informed smith they're working on a plan to have a contractor head to the borough for re-pumping once they're done work in bay head.

“Good beaches are essential to a successful local economy, tourism, and our shore town residents,” Congressman Smith said. “As promised by USACE, high berms must be accompanied by wide beaches and appropriate slopes, and we’re counting on the Corps to follow through with this important beach protection.”

Smith spoke with USACE this week and followed up with a letter sent to Lieutenant Colonel Kristen N. Dahle, Commander of the USACE Philadelphia District that oversees the project.

The Corps preliminarily informed Smith that it was working on a plan of action that would get the contractor Weeks Marine back to Point Pleasant Beach for re-pumping, once the contractor completes the work in Bay Head.

Point Pleasant Beach Borough Councilman Andy Cortes, Mayor Steve Reid, Councilman Bob Santanello, Rep. Smith, and Ray Bogan, Counsel to N.J. fishing industries inspect the beaches. (2018 photo, Congressman Chris Smith's Office)

“I am writing to you once again about the critical coastal storm damage reduction project in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., in my congressional district which the Army Corps of Engineers has been diligently constructing in recent months,” Smith wrote.

“Constituents have told me first-hand accounts of seeing their long-awaited, replenished beaches nearly washed away, with sea waters reaching the very foot of the dunes,” Smith said. “I have been in contact with Point Pleasant Beach officials, as well as Keith Watson, the Corps project manager, to express my support for the borough’s request that the Corps act as quickly as is possible on concerns about restoring the beaches.”

Smith also spoke to Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Steve Reid to assure that he would work with the Corps to repair the recent damage.

“This is great news,” Mayor Reid said. “We appreciate the Corps trying to do this. I want to thank the Congressman for once again working on Point Pleasant Beach’s behalf.”

Smith noted that along with Mayor Reid, he has heard from Ocean County State Senator Jim Holzapfel and Borough Councilman Paul Kanitra.

Smith feels that since the Point Pleasant Beach section of the Corps’ project is still underway and not completed, and while the construction equipment is still in the area, it seemed logical and cost effective that the Corps restore the beach to its planned width before the aforementioned powerful weather system, in order to achieve the project’s primary goal of reducing impacts from coastal erosion and storms.

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