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TMCNet:  Harbor panel to open rebuilding bids for repairing Atlantic Highlands' piers after Sandy

[January 04, 2013]

Harbor panel to open rebuilding bids for repairing Atlantic Highlands' piers after Sandy

Jan 04, 2013 (Asbury Park Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The Harbor Commission will open bids Friday for a proposed project to repair a portion of the municipal harbor piers that were damaged by superstorm Sandy.

The cost to completely repair the harbor could be as much as $40 million, Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny said Wednesday, adding that estimate does not include individual personal property losses such as boats.

"At this time, we are very satisfied with the guidance FEMA has provided us," Hubney said. He also said the borough's flood insurance and regular insurance companies have been cooperative. However, "we have not seen any money as of yet." There are 12 piers at the harbor. Each pier will cost upward of $2 million to repair, he said. The total includes the rebuilding of the pier and the ancillary needs for each pier, such as ramps and railings.

The bids that are being opened today are for the work on pier numbers 5 {, 7, 8 and 9, Hubeny said.

The piers will be replaced in-kind with floating docks. The harbor is working with FEMA, using the agency's best practices and eliminate the fixed piers and replace them with floating concrete docks, he said.

According to a recent letter from FEMA regarding mitigation best practices, recreational and commercial boats moored at traditional docks during severe weather and hurricanes can damage the boat as well as the docks. Floating docks may solve the problem. Traditionally, the federal government only replaces what has been destroyed. If a dock was a wooden dock then it has to be replaced with wood.

The federal government's shared cost of its Stafford Act/ Presidential Declaration is 75 percent / 25 percent, meaning the harbor would be responsible for 25 percent of the cost, and would come from the harbor's budget. Flood and regular insurance would also apply to the amount owned by the harbor.

Jane Frotton, the chairwoman of the Harbor Commission, said the harbor will be in full swing by April 1.

Also at its organization meeting Wednesday, the commissioners voted unanimously for Frotton to return serve as the commission's chairwoman. person. This will be the 10th consecutive year that Frotton has served as chairperson; she has been on the commission for 23 years, she said.

To award the project, both the Harbor Commissioners and the Borough Council have to vote. The Harbor Commission will meet Tuesday , the Borough Council meets Wednesday .

According to Hubeny, the contract could be awarded as soon as the council votes and could begin as soon as mid-February. He explained the borough's engineer, David Marks of T&M Associates in Middletown, has been in contact with the state Department of Environmental Protection, which has verbally agreed with the rebuilding plans.

___ (c)2013 Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.) Visit the Asbury Park Press (Neptune, N.J.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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