By Cleve Bryan
MANTOLOKING, N.J., (CBS) — Checking on his new home in Mantoloking, Steve Lawit vividly remembers what Superstorm Sandy did to his last house.
“Just completely tore it into three pieces,” says Lawit recalling exactly where each third of his house ended up.
In all more than 100 homes were wiped away or had to be demolished in Mantoloking because of Sandy. Only a fraction of those houses have been rebuilt so far but something very big just got underway which could change that.
Construction began this week on a 3.5 mile sea wall in Mantoloking and Brick Township.
“We feel that this will give people confidence to rebuild,” says Mantoloking Mayor George Nebel
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to rebuild the Route 35 corridor along the shore in Ocean County.
A large scale dune project is planned for February with the Army Corps of Engineers but first comes the sea wall which will serve as a last resort against storms.
The steel sheets are 45 feet long, are being driven 30 feet below sea level and will be covered with sand to a price of about $23.8 million.
“The project will be there as a last line of defense to protect the infrastructure of Route 35 which is a coastal evacuation route,” says Erick Doyle the projects principal engineer in the NJDEP.
Mayor Nebel hopes to see an increase in building permit applications by the end of the summer as people feel more secure they won’t lose property this hurricane season.
“What we’re saying to the people of Mantoloking is that we fixed the beach. It will not be a threat anymore,” says Nebel.
Construction on the sea wall is expected to be complete by October.
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