One of the New Jersey municipalities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy is receiving funding to help prevent further damage from future storms.
Gov. Chris Christie announced on April 8 a $202 million resiliency project aimed at bolstering storm protection for Union Beach. The federal government is contributing $132 million of funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiative with New Jersey providing $53 million and Union Beach paying $17 million.
"Union Beach has long been one of the most susceptible areas to coastal flooding in New Jersey, a vulnerability that was made all too real when Sandy slammed the town with its record 14-foot storm surge," said Governor Christie in a statement. "As part of our long-term recovery strategy, this $202 million resiliency project will finally give this close-knit community the protection they need and the sense of security they deserve to withstand future storms."
The project, which is slated to commence next year, was originally designed more than a decade ago, but was modified after Sandy struck on Oct. 29, 2012 to incorporate advancements in construction technologies including flood wall, levee and flood gate design. The project will feature the construction of levees, floodwalls, tide gates and pump stations along with rebuilding beaches and dunes. More than 25 acres of degraded wetlands will also be restored to help better absorb flood waters.
Union Beach is susceptible to flooding because it is in a predominantly low-lying area along Raritan Bay in Monmouth County with numerous small creeks. An estimated 14-foot storm surge during Sandy led to a majority of Union Beach's homes and businesses incurring damaged.