Mantoloking is likely to work with the state to bolster the beachfront with something like a calzone.
Well, sort of.
Mantoloking officials announced Monday that the borough will likely partner with the state to construct a geotextile revetment – commonly known as a geotube – along its beachfront in order to guard against future ocean breaches.
"To use Jersey terms, it'll be a calzone, a wrap," said Chris Nelson, the borough's special counsel for storm recovery. "And inside the calzone will be gravel and sand."
The gravel and sand will be wrapped in the ultra-strong geotextile fabric, forming a tube which will then be placed underneath a dune which will eventually be built. Geotextile tubes have been used across the country in shore protection projects on both coasts, experts say.
In Mantoloking, however, one barrier could prevent the project from getting off the ground.
"All cards on the table, we will not get this unless we have easements," said Nelson.
The same easements which are required for a planned dune restoration project are required in order for the borough to obtain the state's assistance in laying the fabric revetment.
However the easements, which have been signed by the vast majority of borough residents, do not cover the secondary project, meaning new legal documents must be signed by each oceanfront homeowner.
Nelson said the borough will begin sending out revised documentation by April 5, with a due date of April 12, following a conference call with oceanfront homeowners scheduled for next week. The only change from the previous easement documentation will be to allow the revetment project to go forward.
The revetment itself will be built as far west as possible in the easement zone, said Borough Engineer Robert Mainberger. The tube will work in tandem with the larger dunes in the federal beachfill project to protect homeowners and prevent future ocean breaches. But without the full dune restoration project, the revetment will not be as effective.
"You have to have a beach in front of any type of revetment for it to work," said Mainberger. "Eventually, if you don't, the water just erodes it away. There are a lot of people in Bay Head who had rocks living on their second floors because their first floors got flooded. The water just went over the rocks."
The revetment, which will run the length of the borough, would eventually be covered by the large dunes and have dune grass planted over top of it.
The cost of the project is not yet known, though Mainberger said it would likely be only about 25 percent of the price to construct a traditional rock seawall.
Nelson said five oceanfront homeowners have yet to sign the required easements, and "two or three" have definitely refused to sign them.
"We're all going to know who doesn't sign the easement, if it comes to that," said Nelson. "If they do not sign the easement after all of this, the borough will do what it needs to do to take the easement."
Last week, U.S. Rep Jon Runyan (R-3) gave mayors in his district a deadline of May 1 to have all oceanfront residents sign their easements allowing for the dune restoration project to commence. Funding has already been secured for the project, which will run from Manasquan to Barnegat inlets.