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Ship Bottom, Ocean County Agree to Pump Station Project Terms

Aug 18, 2023

By Gina G. Scala | on August 02, 2023

Another layer of relief for one of the most flood-prone areas in Ship Bottom is one step closer after the borough council adopted a resolution last week entering into a shared service agreement with Ocean County for a pump station.

Under the agreement, the county will build the stormwater pump station at the intersection of Central Avenue and 28th Street as part of drainage improvements. Upon completion of the pump station, full ownership reverts to the borough, according to the agreement.

As such, the borough agrees to fund all expenses associated with the continued operation of the pump station, including electrical costs, the agreement states.

Earlier this year, the county announced it would allocate $442,225 for the installation of a pump station at the end of Central Avenue where it terminates at the bay. The project is being funded through $25.4 million of the county’s first allocation of federal funding via the American Rescue Act Plan, totaling $59 million.

In proposing funds for the project, county officials noted, “Moderate to heavy flooding occurs within the project area during storm events, when the tide is high, and the collected runoff cannot be discharged into the bay. In turn, there is frequent flooding of roadways and abutting properties, thereby exposing the residents to health and safety risks.”

The county had expected to award a contract for the project in the spring, but, according to the shared service agreement, now anticipates “awarding the construction contract in 2023.”

For years, borough officials have said a pump station was necessary in that area of Central Avenue, the county-owned road that runs parallel to Long Beach Boulevard and helps alleviate traffic on the Island’s main thoroughfare during the busy summer season.

Five years ago, the Ocean County Road Department raised the crown of the Boulevard, a county-maintained road, from 24th Street in Ship Bottom to 33rd Street in neighboring Long Beach Township, in an effort to stem flooding on the Island’s main thoroughfare. Depending on the area of the roadway, the crown was raised between 6 and 8 inches to alleviate flooding in the center turn lane, allowing one lane of water-free – or almost water-free – driving during a tidal or storm event.

Then the borough undertook two bulkhead replacement projects, one at the municipal boat ramp, located to the south of the Causeway at the entrance to the Island, and the other at the end of West 28th Street. Those projects were done to help ease flooding throughout the borough and to ensure all new or replaced bulkheads meet the 5-foot height requirement put in place in 2018.

Additionally, the county replaced the washed-out berm at the end of Central Avenue where it intersects with West 28th Street. That project required approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection and is in an area that historically has been one of the most flood-prone in the borough. It’s also one of the most heavily trafficked areas on LBI, funneling motorists to the south end of the Island without the benefit of a secondary ocean road for use during flood events.

— Gina G. Scala

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— Gina G. Scala