Donated Excavator Rebuilds Dunes Damaged During Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy had a major effect on the state of New Jersey when it struck on October 29, 2012. It’s estimated that over two million households in the state lost power during the storm, over 340,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and economic losses to businesses have approached $30 billion. The effects of Hurricane Sandy are still being felt today, especially along the New Jersey barrier islands, which were hit the hardest.

Mantoloking, NJ, is a town located on the barrier islands and one of the towns that felt the brunt of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, suffering severe wash-over that had created two new temporary inlets and impassable roads due to large amounts of sand deposited during the storm surge. It’s estimated that over 24 oceanfront homes in the town were completely removed from their foundations and destroyed.

Donated Excavator to the Rescue

Since the storm, the town of Mantoloking has been working nonstop alongside a number of contractors to replace utilities, infrastructure and removal of destroyed homes. Crews have a long recovery ahead of them and could use all the help they can get to assist in the rebuilding effort.

Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc. and its New Jersey equipment dealer, Harter Equipment, saw the need for additional help and answered by donating the use of a new R210LC-9 excavator.

“Many towns have bid the recovery work to contractors. However, there are towns like Mantoloking that need an extra helping hand due to the amount of damage,” says Vic Riga, vice president of Sales for Harter Equipment. “We understand the fiscal impact the storm had on Mantoloking and wanted to provide assistance that would not only speed the recovery but also save the town and taxpayers money.”

“We’ve been working with Harter Equipment ever since the storm to find ways that we can help with the recovery process,” says Shane Sirmons, marketing manager at Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas, Inc. “I’m extremely pleased that we were able to make something happen and hope that we can provide additional recovery assistance through our dealer network in this area.”

The town is currently using the R210LC-9 on the replenishment of the sand dunes, which is an essential component in protecting the island from the next storm.

“Sandy washed away 22-foot high dunes and in some areas the washout was very deep, creating the two inlets that connected the Atlantic Ocean with the bay,” says Larry Gilman, Department of Public Works for the Borough of Mantoloking. “The beach was gone and many houses were destroyed. It’s a complete mess.”

Right Tool for the Task

Gilman and his team are working feverishly to replenish these dunes that span over a two-mile stretch. In order to replenish the dunes, the town and various construction companies have been stockpiling sand that was deposited on the island and in the bay during the storm surge.

Before the stockpiled sand can be placed on the beach it must go through a screening process. The screening process removes all debris including pieces of destroyed homes, garbage and stones. Once the sand is screened it’s then transported from the screener to the beach staging area via conveyor.

“The screening process creates four sand piles each about 1,200 to 1,400 cubic yards,” says Bill Lackey, operator for the Borough of Mantoloking. “I’ll load a tracked dump truck with the screened sand using the Hyundai. The sand is then transported down the beach and dumped. From there our dozer operators will form the dunes.”

Lackey operates the Hyundai R210LC-9 excavator eight hours straight every day and finds the machine a good fit for his needs. “This is a good size machine for our current loading application and I can see this machine being ideal for utility and demolition work,” says Lackey.

The 50,520-lb. R210LC-9 is a mid-size crawler excavator with a dig depth of 22’ 1” and bucket digging force of 31,830 lbf. It is powered by a Cummins QSB6.7 water-cooled, four-cycle, low emission diesel engine with 143 hp at 1,900 rpm. If offers three engine power modes (Power, Standard and Economy), which enable the machine to switch between full power and reduced fuel consumption according to user preference.

Once the dunes have been replenished, the town will work with a contractor to replace the beach which will eventually reach 150 feet into the ocean from the dunes.

The town estimates its portion of the dune replenishment project to take about 3 weeks. After that, they may use the excavator for the next rebuilding project.

“We’re more than happy to extend the donation should the town need the machine longer than planned,” says Riga. “We’re happy to assist the town in its recovery efforts.”