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Dec 15, 2014 2:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Trucks Will Replace Dredge For Tiana Beach Project

Dec 17, 2014 1:05 PM

Southampton Town has abandoned plans to use ocean-going dredges to pump more than 100,000 tons of sand onto the shoreline near Tiana Beach, sand needed to form a levee to hold back the ocean in an area along the barrier island that has long been prone to flooding, after expected cost savings did not pan out.

The town is now working on a plan to have the sand hauled in by trucks—several thousand loads worth—from upland sand mines, an effort that could take more than two months to complete.

The Town Board had anticipated that having sand delivered from either the ocean bottom, or nearby Shinnecock Inlet, by one of two dredging vessels already working in the area would provide substantial savings and easier logistics than trucking in the sand.

But after two rounds of bids on the work came in at more than double anticipated costs, and far more than a ground-based delivery system, the town changed course.

“The dredges, in the end, were not willing or able to take on this job,” Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said this week. “They have other commitments elsewhere … so the cost at which they were willing to delay those and remain here for this work was much too high.”

Ms. Throne-Holst’s deputy chief of staff, Jennifer Garvey, said this week that trucking in the sand would cost about $14 per cubic yard if the town goes with East Coast Mines & Material, an East Quogue company the town has a standing contract with, whereas the lowest bids from the dredging companies came in at $24 per cubic yard.

There had been hopes that dredged sand could be had for as little as $10 per cubic yard, which is what one of the companies—Great Lakes Dredge & Dock—is charging for sand that is now being sucked from the ocean floor by a 300-foot dredging barge and pumped onto the shoreline in Westhampton.

The town is left with the option of bringing in the sand over land, a prospect that had been looked at as undesirable previously because of the time it would take and the inconvenience and potential wear-and-tear on infrastructure. As many as 5,000 truckloads of sand could be needed, and delivery could take as long as seven weeks to complete, officials said this week.

In a letter to Ms. Throne-Holst, Superintendent of Highways Alex Gregor questioned the amount of damage the trucks would cause to the roadway as they make the deliveries.

“This 2-mile section of pavement on Dune Road will be pummeled by approx. 2,100–3,000 truckloads of screened sand,” Mr. Gregor wrote. “And dependent upon the capacity of each truck, with up to 120,000 lbs. of GVW (gross volume weight) per truck.”

Ms. Throne-Holst countered that the potential cost of not shoring up a stretch of the barrier island that is prone to overwashes is far higher than those foreseen expenses.

“The obvious downside of this is that a bunch of trucks are going to have to go in and out of the area with the sand,” she said. “But we really do not have a choice, because we can’t let the risk of a breach go any longer. The effect of a breach is going to have far more dire consequences than some trucks going in and out for a short period of time.”

The project’s initial description calls for as much as 120,000 cubic yards of sand to be placed on the beach and shaped into a long berm, forming a temporary protective wall to a stretch of shoreline that the ocean has overwashed four times in the last several months during storms. Coastal experts have warned that the area is ripe for a breach if one massive storm, or a series of smaller, powerful ones, hit the area.

This week, town officials said they are hoping to purchase between 50,000 and 70,000 yards of sand and have it dumped at the overwash area. At 50,000 cubic yards, it would take at least 2,500 truckloads to conduct the work.

There are 20,000 yards of sand already stockpiled on the shoreline about one mile east, that could also be brought to bear in constructing the levee across the overwash area.

Earlier this month, the town was awarded a $1 million grant by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct the work. Suffolk County, which owns the land where the overwashes have occurred, is expected to contribute the manpower and equipment to have the sand bulldozed into the berm. The work is expected to begin early in 2015.

The project is seen as a Band-Aid to the overall anemic condition of the beach in the area. The town’s coastal engineering consultant, Aram Terchunian, has compared the Tiana situation to conditions seen in what is now West Hampton Dunes in the early 1990s, before the ocean breached the barrier island there during a series of severe winter storms.

“We want this project completed as soon as we can,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “This storm season is raging around us here.”

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$1 million divided by 5,000 truckloads = $200 per truckload. Let's say you can haul 4 truckloads onto the beach each day and unload. That's $800/day. Less the cost of gas, labor, and the sandfill.

Question: where are these truckloads of sand to be found?
By davidf (325), hampton bays on Dec 15, 14 3:45 PM
Perhaps the TB is going to get it from "The Hills" and the Discovery Land Company! That is after they circumvent existing EQ zoning and approve the PDD.
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Dec 15, 14 4:04 PM
So 7 weeks is 49 days, meaning that about 102 trucks a day will be driving thought which village and going over which bridge? Westhampton, Quogue, Hampton Bays? Will those bridges handle that kind of stress and will the residents put up with it? I think the TB is bluffin'
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Dec 15, 14 7:35 PM
We chose the option that was less good?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Dec 18, 14 7:43 AM