The Latest: Judge signs plan for US to pay for Margate flooding fix

MARGATE, N.J. (AP) — A federal judge has approved an agreement between local and federal officials to construct an underground drainage system to prevent severe flooding on a New Jersey beach that was caused by the federal government’s dune construction project.

The judge signed the agreement Wednesday that calls for the federal government to build and pay for underground pipes to prevent storm water from collecting in ponds as it did on the beach at Margate this summer, forcing beachgoers to trudge through bacteria-laden water or take blocks-long detours.

The flooding happened after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built protective sand dunes that caused the exact type of flooding the town of Margate predicted in litigation seeking to block the dune project.

The dunes are part of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s plan for a nearly unbroken line of storm defense along the state’s 127-mile coastline. Christie insists the dunes are necessary following the catastrophic damage Superstorm Sandy wreaked on parts of the shore in 2012.