This is a rendering of the Ocean Grove fishing pier which is scheduled to be rebuilt beginning in September.
By WILLIAM CLARK
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association unveiled plans to rebuild the portion of the pier that was destroyed in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy. The new structure is in the shape of a cross.
Construction is scheduled to begin in September and restore the span to its original length of about 500 feet from the boardwalk.
Michael Badger, president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, said the pier will be built with the support of the $1.5 million dollar American Treasure fundraiser, of which $550,000 will go towards the pier and beachfront facilities.
“The Camp Meeting Association is ensuring the pier is fully funded,” Badger said.
Parts of the original span were restricted from public access because the pier formerly housed the Ocean Grove Fishing Club. Once completed, the full length will be free to any boardwalk and beach goer.
Badger noted that the new pier will have two stages. The preliminary stage is where the first 400 feet will be made of the same composite planks and style the boardwalk is constructed with and the second phase will feature a somewhat higher elevation.
“This will allow water to come through and prevent the uplift energy of the water from destroying the pier,” Badger said.
The second stage will also rise up an additional five feet to provide more clearance from the ocean below.
Other features will be included in the new construction.
“In addition to lighting and benches there will be meteorological equipment to help measure wave height and predict lightning strikes before they happen,” Badger detailed.
Ocean Grove lifeguards will also be able to use the pier as a vantage point to look back onto the beach.
Badger anticipates that construction will take about 90 days barring any weather delays. Visitors will be able to watch the 50 ton crane drive in the pilings from the beach.
As for Ralph, the small fisherman with the white beard that serves as the pier’s mascot, he will still have a home next to the Atlantic.
“Ralph is welcome to maintain his place watching over and giving us hope,” Badger said.