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Emergency Restoration of Ocean Drive (CR 619)

Designing infrastructure after Superstorm Sandy

Cape May, New Jersey

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy descended on New Jersey, and in the wake of its storm surges, yielded historic flood levels, yanked trees and power lines from the ground, and displaced residents from their homes. As the calm after the storm set in, Cape May residents realized their shoreline didn’t just take a beating—their roadways and infrastructure had been compromised.

Storm surges had entered a break in the barrier islands at Corsons Inlet, damaged an existing 1,300-foot-long stone revetment wall along Ocean Drive, and collapsed 400 feet of roadway south of where the wall ended.

When the County brought us in to repair and extend the wall and restore the roadway, we designed with resilience in mind. Smaller stones were replaced with 24-inch-diameter rocks and were held in place by 400 feet of steel sheet piling. Sand and plantings covered the rocks, giving the wall a natural feel.

Ultimately, we restored the County’s infrastructure while protecting the area’s environmental integrity, reducing scour, and assuring residents that future natural disasters wouldn’t destroy their vital transportation route. In December of 2016 our work on Ocean Drive received the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Small Project Honor Award for innovative thinking and leadership. 

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