Several Margate beaches close for dune repairs

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Several Margate beaches close for dune repairs. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 430pm on July 5, 2017. (WPVI)

Some beach-goers could be in for a big disappointment this summer in Margate, New Jersey.

Several beaches are set to shut down so crews can repair and replenish the dunes.

It's the latest chapter in a years-long fight along the Jersey Shore.

Margate taxpayers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting the project, but to no avail.

The mayor says it's all federal money, but adds that it is a waste.

Adding to the frustration: The two months of noisy, 24/7 work comes during the height of tourist season.

"They weren't supposed to be here until the third week in August," said Mayor Mike Becker. "I doesn't make any of us happy."

But he added, "We'll survive."

Dune work was set to begin in Ventnor, which is immediately north of Margate, but the reversal came late last week.

The Army Corps of Engineers say the new order was unavoidable.

Keith Watson explained how the closures will work.

"The way the project moves it only closes a certain portion off, about a thousand feet of beach at a time, then it moves 100 to 200 feet per day down the beach," said Watson. "So as soon as that section is done 200 feet gets open and the whole operation moves down."

Many Margate residents believe that at least some of this was political payback for their extended opposition of the dunes coming into their towns so suddenly.

"This is doing nothing. This will help maybe a couple of houses on the beach, but this is a total waste of our money, of taxpayer money, and time," said resident Robert Block. "Because the flooding comes in the bay. Everybody knows that."

The work is expected to be finished around Labor Day.

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