More than 10 years after Superstorm Sandy, Monmouth County to get added flood protection

Groundbreaking on the $50 million phase one of Union Beach's flood protection program was held on Monday.

Jim Murdoch and Lanette Espy

Mar 20, 2023, 12:11 PM

Updated 479 days ago

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A Monmouth County town devastated by Superstorm Sandy 10 years ago is now getting some added flood protection from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Groundbreaking on the $50 million phase one of Union Beach's flood protection program was held on Monday. The project has been in the works for 28 years but didn't come in time to protect the town from the severe damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
"This is a wonderful day for Union Beach," Mayor Charles Cocuzza said. "It is 28 years in the making, and we're grateful that it's finally getting ready to begin."
Work in the initial phase will include the construction of a beach berm with a planted dune, pedestrian and automobile crosswalks, and jetties. It comes at a cost of $50 million, with the majority of that cost absorbed by the federal government.
For residents in Union Beach who went through Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it seems like yesterday. The storm flooded and destroyed homes and infrastructure in Union Beach. Before the storm, plans were being put together to prevent this type of damage.
"One thing we've always lacked is the protection from that, so this what we hope to be the first step of the entire process to protect Union Beach completely," Cocuzza said.
News 12 New Jersey's Jim Murdoch spoke with a retired officer who was on duty on the night Sandy damaged Union Beach and said this project is a welcome addition to the town.
"I think it's going to mean a lot. It's going to increase your property value," said Tim Kelly, retired officer of Union Beach Police Department. "Everyone's worried, as I said earlier, about losing the view, but it's just because we're used to seeing it. Younger kids, they will probably appreciate it more when they grow up."
The project was authorized for construction by the Water Resources Development Act in 2007. Funding became available in 2013 through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. Phase 1 of the flood protection program is scheduled to be completed by November in Union Beach.


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