UPPER TOWNSHIP - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the township permission to dump more sand on Strathmere's north end after a quirk in erosion left part of Corsons Inlet exposed.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is expected to pay for the additional sand to build a 50-foot beach in front of several north-end homes, Mayor Richard Palombo said.
Strathmere was the first of four towns in Cape May County to benefit from a massive $20.5 million state project this year. The Strathmere portion alone cost $6 million.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock completed Strathmere's beach fill last month. But contractors abruptly stopped placing sand north of Seaview Road in keeping with the project's permits that were approved last winter. Months of additional spring erosion left about 180 feet of beach exposed. "You don't have the luxury of a crystal ball," Palombo said. "The lesson is you try to overextend the amount of beach fill necessary. But when you're dealing with state money or public funds, that might not always be an option."
Palombo said he did not have an estimate on how much the additional sand will cost or when it will be completed.
The dredge Illinois is working off the coast of Sea Isle City now. From there it will continue to projects in Stone Harbor and North Wildwood.
Meanwhile, Strathmere residents breathed a sigh of relief last week after Hurricane Bill spared the newly finished beaches. The township is bracing for storm damage from Tropical Storm Danny.
"So far, so good," Palombo said. "Danny is weakening, so that works in our favor. Any time you get back-to-back storms, you can anticipate a loss. Luck is on our side a little bit."
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