Project of the Year Award for Back Bay Dredging

Image source: From Beach to Bay in Avalon & Stone Harbor, NJ by Daniel Bowersock

The Borough of Avalon and its municipal engineering firm of Mott MacDonald were recognized Wednesday by the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers during its 2017 Municipal Project of the Year awards during the New Jersey League of Municipalities Convention. 

Mott MacDonald Vice President/Avalon Municipal Engineer, Thomas Thornton, received an award for Avalon’s recently-completed back bay dredging project that cleared tens of thousands of cubic yards of material from the borough’s navigational waterways.

“This project was complex and involved many challenges solved only by innovative solutions,” said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. 

“Tom and his team at Mott MacDonald were able to put together a very thorough plan that resulted in clean navigation channels for many years to come while also providing long-standing solutions to back bay dredging issues that impact Avalon and many coastal communities in New Jersey.”

Thomas Thornton, Kimberli Craft, and Scott Wahl, Image source: Borough of Avalon

Many important navigational channels in the bay bays of Avalon were shoaled with sediment that had deposited over many years.

Thornton and his colleagues at Mott MacDonald devised a plan that built a small road across a tidal marsh to empty a Confined Disposal Facility belonging to Avalon.

The road was comprised of a geogrid, stone and sand. The material removed from the CDF was taken to a processing site for beneficial use.

The Borough worked cooperatively with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and Middle Township on agreements that allowed private boat slip owners in the project area to have their slips dredged along with the navigational channels.

Despite many challenges involving seasonal restrictions, the project was completed on time, and within budget, the borough stated.