The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Maritime Resources has awarded the bid to complete the long awaited Shark River and Shark River Spur Dredging Project to the low bidder, Mobile Pumping & Dredging Co., of Chester, PA. MPD’s bid of $7,649,817.50 was $1.8 million lower than the next closest bidder.
The State of New Jersey will contribute over $5 million to the project. Monmouth County will contribute $1.1 million and Neptune Township has committed $450,000. Belmar, Neptune City and Wall Township are expected to share the remaining costs of the project, according to a statement isssued by Senator Jennifer Beck, Freeholder Tom Arnone and Neptune Township Committeeman Randy Bishop. Beck said the project will start this year, “if all the stars align,” and will be completed by the end of 2016.
“After over two decades, there has finally been a bid awarded to dredge Shark River. Notably, The National Marine Fisheries only allows dredging work from July 1st to December 31st, so I’m happy to see this monumental step taken forward, which, if all the stars align, will allow dredging to begin this year. None of this could have been possible without the work of Freeholder Tom Arnone and Committeeman Randy Bishop, working together in a bipartisan fashion with every state, county, and local stakeholder to make this project happen. While the State is investing more than $5 million, the project couldn’t have moved forward without the assistance of Monmouth County, which is accepting the material at its landfill and helping to fund the trucking. In addition, a number of surrounding municipalities have preliminary agreed to share in the cost of the project” said Beck.
The Monmouth County Landfill in Tinton Falls has agreed to take the dredge materials which will be used to cover solid non-hazardous waste. There will be no interim “drying location” of the dredge materials, Arnone told MMM. Locating a site for the the dredge materials to dry before being truck to its final destination had long been a stumbling block in the planning of this project. By accepting and using the dredge materials for landfill, Monmouth County will save $750,000 in material that would otherwise have to be purchased, Arnone said, effectively reducing taxpayers’ $1.1 million contribution to the project to $450,000.
“This is the most gratifying accomplishment of my public service career,” Arnone said, “and it has taken most of my career to get it done.” Arnone started working on the getting Shark River dredged almost twenty years ago when he was mayor of Neptune City.
“With cooperation from the Monmouth County Landfill, which has agreed to take the dredge materials, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders providing funding, we have made this project a reality. Not one part of the Shark River project was easy or simple, but we found a way to accomplish this. Neptune Township has officially committed to $450,000 in funding, with preliminary discussions taking place with Belmar, Neptune City, and Wall Township for cost-sharing.
The persistence of the local community to get this project done was instrumental in helping us over the finish line” said Arnone.
“This is a large project, with approximately 106,000 cubic yards of material to be dredged. I’m happy to have been a part of this vital effort in our region. My thanks go out to all stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensurethat we save the Shark River. Every level of government had to work seamlessly to even get the project to this stage. I couldn’t be more pleased with the level of cooperation we have received” said Bishop.