After several days of heavy equipment moving along the southern portion of Ortley Beach’s oceanfront, and workers installing new fencing and rail posts, the neighborhood’s beach has – once again – been repaired.
The beach suffered significant damage in the Feb. 1-2 nor’easter, was repaired, and then had to be repaired again after a storm over Memorial Day weekend caused additional damage to walkways and entrances, and took precious sand away from the beach berm.
The damage from the Feb. storm will be reimbursed by the federal government, officials said, and because the township was able to save money on the fencing portion of the repairs by using a previously-appointed contractor, the latest round of repairs was paid out of the savings.
“We did not sustain as much damage as in the February storm, but we did sustain damage to a portion of our dunes,” Township Engineer Robert Chankalian said at a Toms River Township council meeting last week.
The second round of repairs was delayed slightly due to foul weather but has now been completed. Heavy equipment entered the beachfront at a designated entrance at Harding Avenue, and deposited truckloads of sand that was moved by bulldozers to shore up the dune and enlarge the beach berm. By Tuesday, the repairs had largely been completed and sunbathers were enjoying a warm, 80-degree day on the sand.
Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is returning next year to complete a beach renourishment project town-wide. In the initial project from several years ago, all of the island’s beaches were built to like specifications, but next year the Corps will order extra sand and specifically engineer portions of beachfront to better withstand storms, he said. Ortley Beach has been identified as one of the areas where extra protection is required.