Long Beach bulkheading project more than doubles in price

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LONG BEACH -

Long Beach residents may have to foot the bill for bulkheads on private homes after a state-funded project more than doubled in cost. 

The state gave the city $12.6 million to fix the bulkheads on Long Beach's north shore. State engineers estimated the costs using vinyl sheeting as material for the bulkhead. Long Beach city engineers say they should be using steel. 

"The problem with vinyl sheeting is that you have to dig up all the property behind the sheeting, and it would have caused a tremendous amount of property damage," says Jim LaCarrubba, an adviser to the city manager. 

As a result, the city says using the steel more than doubles the cost of the project to $28 million. With only $12 million in the bank, the city says they will only shore up public property. 

City officials say they are asking the state for more funding. 

For several years, Long Beach has offered a program to finance private bulkheads, where residents pay the city back with an annual voucher or on their tax bill. More information on the Bulkhead Assistance Program can be found on the city's website

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