Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone, and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop offered the following statement Monday to update residents on the progress being made in the effort to dredge Shark River state navigation channels:
“This project is closer to reality than ever before. This is a result of years of work coordinating with the many agencies that have authority over this project. This project focuses on what we can do, dredge the state navigation channels of the river” Arnone explained, a former Neptune City Mayor. “A project like this has to have full cooperation from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments. It has been a long process, but one that is moving forward”.
There are two permits necessary to move forward with the project: one from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the second from the US Army Corps of Engineers. NJ DOT has submitted applications for both permits. The State hopes to bid this project in time for a late-summer project award. If a responsive bid is received, and the selected contractor chooses, dredging could potentially begin later this year. The contractor may be given the option to conduct the work over two dredging seasons if necessary.
Committeeman Randy Bishop added, “This project would not be where it is without the persistence of our local residents, but now there is finally an answer for concerns. I’m eager to see the project go out to bid.”
“Bid specifications are under development and the permits for the dredging process are now at the NJDEP and USACE” said Senator Beck. “I have been successful in securing a commitment from the State to fund this project, and tangible steps have been taken for this desperately needed project to move forward”.
“I have been part of various efforts to allow the desperately-needed dredging of the Shark River, which is vital to our economy as well as our quality of life here in Monmouth County,” said Angelini. “The fact that this project is in the process of moving forward is a testament to the commitment of the citizens and the officials who refused to take no for an answer.”
“While the road ahead will take time, I’m happy to see tangible progress on this issue,” said Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande. “Our constituents should know that we are fighting hard to get all parties involved to cooperate and see the dredging of the Shark River finally get done. It is in all of our best interests to see this beautiful waterway restored and protected for future generations.”