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Long Branch Looking To Design New Bluff With Help of Oceanfront Survey

The city council could award a contract for the survey work by the end of this year.

By Christopher Sheldon

Long Branch may not have received funds to repair its damaged beachfront, but city officials are still looking to get the ball rolling on designing projects that will allow the work to begin once the money is in place.

The city is seeking bids for a survey of its oceanfront, including its beachfront bluff, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy last year, and helped support the boardwalk, which was also damaged. This survey will help the city pick a design for the bluff.

"The City of Long Branch was settled on a unique oceanfront bluff, which rises gradually from the dunes at Seven Presidents Park to the north to about 35 feet over the beach at Brighton Avenue to the south," the request for proposals (RFP) states. "The storm affected the bulkhead, seawall, and bluff and undermined the boardwalk, roadway, and promenade elements, including utilities."

The successful bidder will survey the 2-mile stretch of area along the oceanfront from the Ocean Avenue promenade at Seven Presidents Park and Sea view Avenue south to the end of the boardwalk at Brighton Avenue. 

"The oceanfront undertook various forms of damage due to the different coastal defense structures that responded to Hurricane Sandy in different ways," the RFP states. "Some seawalls and boardwalk structures have been left almost intact, but other features have had significant changes such as lowering of beach material and the deeper exposition of structures."

City Business Administrator Howard Woolley has said fixing the bluff is the first step in the city's beachfront improvements.

"We have to recreate the bluff, shore up the roadway," Wolley has said. "Unfortunately, it's not as simple as in other towns where everything is level."

The five arterial road that extend from Ocean Avenue to Ocean Boulevard will also be surveyed to see how much damage they suffered from the storm. The roads include Brighton Avenue, West End Avenue, Cottage Place, South Bath Avenue and North Bath Avenue.

Once the bluff is fortified, the boardwalk can be rebuilt from Brighton Avenue to Pier Village.

Responses to the RFP were due this week and a contract for the survey could be awarded at the next Long Branch Council meeting on Dec. 30. 

According to the RFP, the survey could begin on Jan. 13 and be completed in February.

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