Global consulting firm Arcadis recently completed an $8 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contract to locate and remove pieces of World War I-era artillery boosters from three New Jersey beaches.

The project follows Arcadis’ selection as one of nine contractors for the Multiple Award Military Munitions Services II contract valued at up to $240 million over five years to support USACE's Baltimore District with military munitions and environmental response services.

The artillery fusing pieces were inadvertently placed onto the beaches during the pumping of sand from the ocean when screening baskets failed to capture the small objects. The sand was brought ashore as part of a coastal storm risk management project after Hurricane Sandy along 7,600 feet of beach in Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, and Deal in New Jersey.

Similar in size to a C battery and made of brass, the boosters are part of components that would connect a fuse to the explosives in an artillery round to make up a projectile. While not armed, the boosters may contain aged explosives.

Arcadis excavated and screened the sand placed during the beach-fill operation. The project was successful in safely removing the munitions and allowed beach activities to return to normal prior to the 2017 beach season. Removal and screening operations began in late-2016 and were completed before the end of March 2017. Portions of the beaches were closed during the project to keep the public safe from heavy equipment.

Over the last few years, Arcadis also has done $250 million in munitions cleanup work for Department of Defense clients including Fort Pierce Public Beach, Fla.; Fort Wingate, N.M.; Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.; and Fort Meade, Md. As the prime consultant, the firm was responsible for excavation and screening across more than 70 acres of shoreline, public outreach including health and safety briefings, distributing informational materials, and involving local businesses throughout the projects' duration.

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