Erosion Batters Radio Road Beach in Little Egg Harbor

Mar 20, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson UNCOVERING HISTORY: Remains of an amusement park ride and a boardwalk are exposed at Graveling Point at the end of Radio Road due to storm erosion.

Graveling Point Beach at the end of Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor Township has been severely eroded by this winter’s storms. Wind-blown waves have whisked away sand covering the bones of an old amusement park and boardwalk, and aged cedar trees have toppled.

Residents of Osborn Island attending the March 14 township committee meeting expressed worry that the popular “gem of a beach” would become a hazard come summertime when children come to bathe in the shallow water. Lidia Lo Pinto asked if it was possible to save the trees, and Charles Merton said the exposed boards were a safety issue.

Deputy Mayor John Kehm, leading the meeting while Mayor Barbara Jo Crea was absent, said the township has been watching the situation and will talk with the county about some type of solution because Ocean County owns the roadway. As for replacing lost sand, that was a complicated process now made more complicated by the fact there are clam beds directly to the south of the beach.

“Everything takes money. If we can partner with the county and Freeholder Ginny Haines, hopefully they can give us a helping hand,” he said.

In other business, the committee had two ordinances on the agenda for approval. It approved 2019-04, which changes the weight of trucks allowed to park overnight on roadways or private property, from 8,000 pounds to 12,000 pounds of registered vehicle weight. Also passed was Ordinance 2019-05, which aligns township codes located within the Pinelands Reserve with the changes to the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan by the N.J. Pinelands Commission, specifically as relates to wastewater management and solar power structure arrays.

Another ordinance that would have provided for maintenance dredging of Rose Creek and several lagoons, appropriating $4.5 million in bonds for the project, was postponed. (See story this week.)

Township Engineer Jason Worth brought the committee up to speed on various projects. He had met with Ocean County engineers for their annual meeting and learned the Park-n-Ride 49-space commuter lot would be finished sometime in May. The county is also paving 14 miles of Route 539 west of the Garden State Parkway, and adding rumble strips. The county also plans on paving Railroad Avenue from the intersection with Thomas Avenue into Tuckerton; and reconstructing the Otis Bog Bridge between Stage Road and Nugentown this year.

The town is doing a local government energy audit on all township buildings, including the senior center on Radio Road. And speaking of that, seniors in various clubs have won over the mayor and will stay in the smaller senior center on Radio Road, rather than the larger Edward Thornton Community Center on Calabreeze Way.

Art Mooney asked if Worth had asked the county about adding bike lanes on Radio Road. Worth said the county was not enthusiastic about it, but he would keep trying.

Landowner Linda Fahmie asked the committee if it had a noncommittal letter of support that she could take to Great Wolf Lodge resorts, inviting the company to choose her local property as a resort site. Kehm said members of the committee had received a letter on the topic from Township Attorney Jean Cipriani and would share it with her soon.

Fahmie is the owner of 68 acres along Route 9 and Otis Bog Road, adjacent to Walmart, that she is hoping to sell to Great Wolf Lodge for one of its large water park resorts.

— Pat Johnson

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