Military Munitions Non-Time Critical Removal Action
Significant Project Features
- Non-time critical removal action for munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) and discarded military munitions (DMM) along a public beach in a residential area.
- Excavation and mechanical screening of 500,000 CY of hydraulically-placed beach fill.
- Removal action recovered 1,915 DMM items including unfired, fused, low explosive loaded MK1 37mm projectiles, Mark II and III booster assemblies, and Mark I and II point detonating fuses. All items turned over to USACE Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team (EOD).
- Project was awarded the Philadelphia District, USACE’s External Partnering Award for 2009. The award is presented in recognition of collaborative efforts to deliver a completed project that best exemplifies the Army’s partnering goals.
History & Location Details
The project site is located in the Boroughs of Surf City and Ship Bottom on Long Beach Island in Ocean County, New Jersey. The Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) project included the hydraulic dredging and placement of 886,000 cubic yards of sand to restore a section of oceanfront beach. In addition, an established sand dune was improved to create 6,600 lf dune with a crest height of +22 ft. The first phase of the Coastal Storm Damage Reduction project was managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The beach restoration portion of the project was completed in February 2007. Sand dredged from an offshore borrow area in the Atlantic Ocean located approximately three miles northeast of Surf City was pumped onto the public beach of Surf City and Ship Bottom Beach.
In early March 2007, discarded military munitions (DMM) were discovered by local residents using recreational metal detectors. The beach was subsequently closed to the public. All access points were barricaded with construction fencing, and “beach closed” signs were posted. A private security firm was contracted to assist in enforcing the beach closure on a 24/7/365 basis.
A Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA) was immediately implemented to reduce the explosive hazard to individuals and community from the presence of discarded military munitions (DMM). The objective of the TCRA (Phase 1) was to safely locate, identify, and dispose of DMM to instrument detection depths along the berm, surf zone and dunes before Memorial Day, the day the beach was officially opened to the public for the busy summer season. The TCRA was completed by May 18, 2007. Over 1,100 DMM items were recovered.
Subsequent to the TCRA (Phase 1), a Public Information Plan with Land Use Controls (Phase II) was approved and implemented by the stakeholders and remains in place today to ensure public safety. Phase II beach involves ongoing monitoring activities and is conducted by a USACE Ordnance and Explosive Safety Specialist.
A Draft Final Engineering Evaluation and Cost Estimate (EECA) were completed in December 2007. The EECA recommended a Non-Time Critical Removal Action (NTCRA) involving sieving the berm and surf zone to the depth of the sand placement prior to beach restoration and to continue land use controls on the dune for five years. This was adopted and funded as part of the Duncan Hunter Defense Authorization Act in 2009. The removal action began in January 2009 and was successfully completed in May 2009.
Sevenson was awarded a competitively bid subcontract from Weston Solutions to implement the removal action.
Due to the rapid response required to meet the schedule and goals and objectives of the project, site preparation activities commenced concurrently with mobilization of Sevenson’s project management team, labor, and equipment. Sevenson initiated work by removing split-rail and sand fencing along the stretch of beach. When possible, existing fencing was salvaged and stored. Any private dune crossover materials were delivered to the Surf City Borough Public Works Department for storage. Pedestrian and public vehicular crossover materials were also removed and stored.
All onsite personnel working on the project were 40-hour HAZWOPER trained and given the required pre-work physicals and orientation. Sevenson equipped and modified all excavation and screening equipment with plexiglass and armor plating according to Weston and ESS specifications. All work was conducted under Level D PPE.
The remedial action required the excavation and mechanical screening of approximately 500,000 CY of hydraulically-placed beach fill to remove munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) that were inadvertently placed on the beach during a replenishment project.
The excavation and screening operation was performed by four (4) work teams. Each team covered approximately 2,000 lf of beach area. A minimum set back distance of 200 lf was maintained between the public and all mechanical screening operations. The teams worked concurrently. Each team consisted of 3 excavation crews, a screening crew and a backfill crew. Sevenson worked six (6) 10-hour days per week. Daily production goals were a combined 8,400 CY of screened material from the 4 teams per shift. Rain days were made up by employing a second shift. The work team performed:
- Dune Excavation
The dune excavation crew – consisting of a D65 dozer, a PC-400 excavator, and Moxy haulers, excavated the dune material starting at the top of the dune. The daily excavation from these crews consisted of a 120 ft by 120 ft by 2 ft section.
- Berm Work
The berm area work was performed using a D-65 dozer in the same manner as the dune excavation. Once the dune excavation was completed, the same crew shifted to the berm. As with the dune excavation, a bulldozer performed a 2 ft cut in 120 ft by 120 ft grids. Sevenson managed water by the use of pumps and drainage ditches.
- Intertidal Excavation
Based upon cross sections in the RFP, the intertidal zone averaged approximately 35-40 ft in length between the high tide and low tide lines. Sevenson anticipated that this excavation would be 4 ft deep and performed in a cross section approximately 35 lf of beach each day, resulting in a total excavation of approximately 800 CY/day.
- Mechanical Screening Operations
Off-road haulers transferred material from the dune, berm and intertidal excavations to a stockpile area adjacent to the mechanical screening plant. This stockpile was managed by a bulldozer in a manner to effectively drain any water while insuring efficient placement into the hopper. The hopper was loaded by an excavator at an average rate of 200-250 CY per hour, resulting in a total of 8,000 to 10,000 CY per 10-hour shift.
Any material less than 3/4 inch was placed into a backfill stockpile adjacent to the mechanical screening plant. An excavator loaded the backfill into haulers for transport to the restoration area. Bulldozers then graded the material to meet project specifications. Backfilling operations were ongoing in all work zones on a continuous basis and was staged to immediately follow completion of daily MEC inspection, post-excavation survey and approval.
Following approval of post-backfill survey for a section, Sevenson initiated restoration work. All restoration was completed in accordance with “Beachhill Construction Solicitation and Specifications 21 July 2006.” Vehicular dune crossovers were reconstructed with I-5 mix and all required geotextile materials. Handicap and pedestrian crossovers used as much salvaged materials as possible. Pedestrian crossovers included a “bumpout” at the top of dune to allow placement for a bench. Split-rail fencing was reinstalled and room at each crossover was made for a bench. Sand fencing was reinstalled along the toe of the dune and the interior crest of the dune over the length of the project. Salvaged fence material was used when possible.Project was awarded the Philadelphia District, USACE’s External Partnering Award for 2009. The award is presented in recognition of collaborative efforts to deliver a completed project that best exemplifies the Army’s partnering goals.
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Health & Safety Overview
- This project required the handling and screening of beach sand that contained pre World War I munitions and ordnance. The beach sand also contained up to 12 percent crystalline silica.
- All heavy equipment that worked in the exclusion zone had to be hardened to withstand a detonation event. Workers were also educated on various types of UXO and the hazards of crystalline silica exposure. An extensive Cold Stress Program was implemented to protect workers from exposures to winter weather conditions and ocean surf.