The arrival of beach replenishment equipment in Ortley Beach today is the start of what municipal officials hope is a new, safer era in the Ocean County oceanfront community.
A section of Toms River, the duneless Ortley Beach was decimated by Superstorm Sandy in late 2012 and faced numerous scares during less potent coastal storms in recent years.
But that could be changing soon now that beach replenishment and protective dune building is set to begin later this month.
Crews today delivered piping, bulldozers, loaders, and field offices for the project that is set to begin when hopper dredges — used to pump up sand offshore — arrive around May 24.
Ortley Beach, which sustained sustained catastrophic property damage during Sandy, is now set to receive 267,000 cubic yards of sand that will result in an approximately 225-foot wide beach within two weeks.
Crews will close 1,000 feet of beach at a time and return during the fall to finish in the community. They’ll then move on to Seaside Heights and other communities along the northern Ocean County barrier island.
The project, totaling $128 million for the entire island from Point Pleasant Beach to South Seaside Park, will result in wide beaches and dunes 22 feet above sea level.
65 percent of the funding will come from the 2013 federal Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, while the state will fund the remaining 35 percent from the Shore Protection Fund.