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Toms River Engineer is N.J.'s Engineer of the Year

Chankalian honored for post-Sandy work

Photo: Toms River Township
Photo: Toms River Township
Toms River municipal engineer Robert J. Chankalian was declared the state's Municipal Engineer of the Year at the recent state League of Municipalities convention.

The award is given out annually by the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers.

The Society recognized Chankalian for his "outstanding contributions to the profession of municipal engineering, and for his tireless efforts this past year to rebuild Toms River after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy." 

Chankalian was also formally cited for reconstructing the dunes in Toms River, and quickly returning the beach area to pre-storm conditions. The Township Engineer says that the dunes are now 18 feet elevated above sea level.

"I remember at one time there were 25 projects going on at one time," said Councilwoman Maria Maruca. "In one year, we have come so far. Hopefully next Thanksgiving we’ll be able to say the same."

Chankalian's contributions to the township go beyond storm recovery, however, officials noted.

"As we’re rebuilding Ortley Beach and all the projects there, he’s building an animal shelter, a records storage facility," said Council President George Wittmann. "Bob has dealt with it with grace, compassion and humor - all things that are needed at different times."

"Everything we do is a team effort," said Chankalian, who thanked his staff during the awards presentation, including Wendy Birkhead, the township's assistant engineer.

Sue November 30, 2013 at 07:47 AM
And he convinced the mayor to actually do something about the devastation.
grace November 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM
looks like a good guy..still a big mess over the bridge tho maria maruca
Linda A Stevens November 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Since the Ortley Beach and south dunes have not been rebuilt nor replenished sufficiently for years, perhaps the award is premature. Good to know someone in Town Hall is doing their job. Everyone has been challenged this year, especially the property owners.
Sue November 30, 2013 at 04:04 PM
If all the dunes aren't up soon, a winter nor'easter may let an ocean surge flood the island again and overfill the bay, flooding mainland homes again. Water will get through wherever there's no dunes. Pray that there's no full moon when it happens. What's the target date for completion?

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