Cat Products Work to Restore New Jersey Shoreline

Cat® Products Work to Restore New Jersey Shoreline

As world population explodes from seven to nine billion over the next few decades, and demand for food, clean air and clean water intensifies, sustainable natural infrastructure (forests, prairies, agricultural lands, coastal landscapes and wetlands) will become even more critical.

Caterpillar is taking a proactive global leadership role, advocating sustainable natural infrastructure on projects like the restoration of the New Jersey shoreline.

When Superstorm Sandy crashed into the Jersey shore, it caused unprecedented devastation, stripping beach widths by 30 to 40 feet and inflicting over $30 billion in damage. Shortly thereafter, Hurricane Joaquin struck the shore causing further damage. Then earlier this year, winter storm Janos struck, once again wreaking havoc on the Jersey shore.

A massive, multi-million dollar Army Corps of Engineers project to restore the beach and the natural infrastructure has been ongoing since shortly after Sandy subsided.

At the forefront of this extensive beach restoration effort is Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD), a premier global dredging company founded in 1890 with headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States. GLDD provides dredging and marine engineering services that shape the living environments and transportation resources of communities, including America’s largest cities and busiest ports.

The $56 million New Jersey project, known as beach reconstruction/restoration at Egg Harbor inlet to Townsend’s inlet, employs a GLDD crew of 60 to 70 and stretches from Ocean City, New Jersey south to the town of Strathmore.

“We carefully replenish the beach to precisely match the template and restore the dune grass to make it look as if we were never here,” says GLDD field operations supervisor James Janus. “We are 100 percent environmentally friendly and even plan our work schedule to minimize any impact on the nearby bird sanctuaries.” 

GLDD works closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of the Environment (NJDEP) on this huge beach rebuilding effort that will re-pump some 750,000 cu. yd. of sand back in place on the beach.

Once the Army Corps of Engineers designates the offshore borrow areas from which the sand is to be drawn to rebuild the beach, GLDD deploys its dredger—on this project the cutter-suction dredge (CSD) Illinois, an ocean-going vessel—that dredges sand from the borrow area and pumps 40,000 cu. yd. of sand per day onto the beach 24/7.

Pumping sand at this volume means any delays on the beach can severely impede the production schedule and efficiency. So GLDD relies upon a fleet of Cat® machines, including D7E Dozers with Dredging Arrangements; 336E and 336F Hydraulic Excavators to position the Munitions and Explosives of Concern baskets (MECs); and a 966K Wheel Loader to load, carry and assemble pipe sections.

“We prefer to run Cat machines primarily due to the excellent service we receive,” Janus says. “Plus the quality of the Cat machines—they just hold up better than others. We need machines that can handle this demanding environment.”




The D7E Dredging Arrangement is designed to withstand the severe conditions encountered in dredging, and enables greater productivity with improved fuel efficiency. The Tier 4F engines burn from 10 to 30 percent less fuel per hour to help achieve reduced operating costs.

“I think we are saving a good 25 percent on fuel costs every day on our D7Es,” Janus says. “And the availability of the machines has been very good.”

The AccuGrade™ on the D7Es greatly improves production and helps the operators hit grade much faster, Janus adds. It eliminates the need for grade conduits and ground personnel and speeds things up for GLDD’s operators by indicating their exact location on the template while dozing in the watery, sandy environment

 “The D7E has plenty of power, traction and good blade control—it’s like a little pit bull,” adds operator Jim Souner. “These D7Es are tough machines—they take a beating in the sand and saltwater but they keep pushing and hold up well.

The D7E is also easily transportable during mobilization and demobilization.

“I would recommend the D7E Dredging Arrangement to other companies for sure,” Janus says. 

Optimized productivity

A team of as many as five to six Cat D7Es (GLDD owns more than 25 D7Es), all configured with Dredging Arrangements, doze the heavy sand through the shallow, swirling saltwater, spreading the sand that spews from the MEC all across the beach and slopes. The D7Es lead a fleet of 35 to 40 machines at work on the project.

The D7E Dredging Arrangements optimize productivity, durability and fuel efficiency to combat and withstand the severely abrasive conditions of this dredging application, enabling the D7Es to perform better and last longer. New Jersey’s shore sand contains ilmenite, an extremely abrasive titanium-iron oxide which the dredging arrangement helps combat to maximize undercarriage life.

All the GLDD’s Cat machines utilize Product Link™, enabling management to monitor the fleet 24 hours a day and receive emails should any alerts or fault codes be triggered in the machines.

Adds Janus: “The local residents are very receptive—they’re glad we’re here to rebuild the dunes and protect their beach for future generations.”

D7E Dredging Arrangement Key In Beach Restoration

The D7E Dredging Arrangement is designed to withstand the severe conditions encountered in dredging and enables greater productivity with improved fuel efficiency.

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D7E Dozer

The D7E Dozer is available with a dredging arrangement upon request. Contact your Cat® dealer for more information.

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