U.S. awards contract on hotly contested dune work

The federal government has awarded a contract to build a hotly contested sand dune project to protect some Jersey shore towns near Atlantic City that residents have been fighting for years.



The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tells The Associated Press it awarded a contract Wednesday to Cranford, New Jersey-based Weeks Marine to perform the work in Margate, Longport and part of Ventnor.



The $63.3 million contract also authorizes an additional $13 million for more sand if needed.



An Army Corps spokesman says construction should begin in January or February and be completed by next October.



Margate and several residents say bulkheads already in place provide enough storm protection. They say adding dunes will wreck ocean views, spoil the beach and possibly spread mosquito-borne disease including the Zika virus.


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