WILDWOOD — As much as 100,000 cubic yards of sand is slated to move from Wildwood Crest, through Wildwood and into North Wildwood in April.
The plan is to haul the sand by truck from Wildwood Crest, which has an abundance of sand on its beaches, to North Wildwood’s Third to Fifth avenues and at the southern end of town and between 22nd to 26th avenues.
The trucks that move the sand are capable of carrying 40 tons and are too heavy to travel on the road and instead move the sand by driving across the beach, so Wildwood had to give its approval on the project, too.
North Wildwood City Administrator Louis M. Belasco attended the Wildwood Board of Commissioners on Feb. 10 and told city officials that the process of trucking the sand from one end of Five Mile Beach to the other will leave “minimal to no damage” to the city’s beach.
Mayor Ernie Troiano joked that he wants to know the details of how the trucks are passing through the city’s beach so he can install a toll booth.
Belaco responded that it would be a good investment and estimated that with seven trucks running the company, Seminole Construction, would make about 150 trips each day.
Belasco told Troiano that about seven trucks will run five days a week from 7 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m.
“The trucks don’t get a refill for gas, so when they are out of gas they are done for the day,” Belasco said.
He said the trucks will ride along the hard packed sand of the wet/dry line and only deviate from that route if they have to avoid the city’s outfall trenches.
“The tires won’t cause ruts in the sand,” Belaso said and showed pictures of the trucks doing a similar project in Avalon.
Troiano asked for a list of trucks so the city can permit the vehicles and get all their necessary insurance information.
Belasco said that the project is expected to take 20 days to complete with most of the work occurring in April. The goal is to complete the project before the summer visitors start hitting the beaches.
The sand back-passing operation is expected to be considerably less expensive compared to a typical dredging project. Moving the sand is expected to cost about $7 to $8 per cubic yard, while dredging would cost an estimated $15 per cubic yard. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is also paying for 75 percent of the cost of the emergency beach fill project
The removal of Wildwood Crest’s sand is expected to benefit the borough because its beaches grow at a rate of 50 feet per year. Because of that growth, the borough has to deal with berms along the beach that create ponds of rainwater. In 2009, the borough paid $450,000 to fill in the ponds that had formed along the beach, but it was a temporary fix.