TOMS RIVER – Now that Ortley Beach has had some time to be utilized after being filled in with new sand, residents are saying they are very happy with the work that was done.
According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Ortley received approximately 267,000 cubic yards of sand, creating an approximately 225-foot-wide beach.
The sand was dredged from the ocean floor about 1.5 miles from shore, according to an official from the Army Corps of Engineers. Looking at the chips of shells mixed in with the sand on the new beach, one can tell that the sand was churned up from the ocean floor.
They will return in the fall to replenish 11 million cubic yards of sand along approximately 14 miles of coastline, from Point Pleasant Beach through Seaside Park. The total project costs about $128 million. The work will be done by Weeks Marine.
“They did a magnificent job and being on that beach today, takes me back 50 years or more,” said Ken Langdon, chairman of the Ortley Beach Liaison Committee. When the project began, he was skeptical of how it was going to be finished on time.
“Living in the beach block, I hear commentary all day and it is all positive,” he said. “Our only hopes are that the final phase of this project in October or November, when they create the dunes, is as magnificent as the first phase. As an engineer, my respect for the Army Corps and their contractor, Weeks Marine, has risen immensely.”
Anthony L. Colucci, president of the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association, agreed.
“The beach is looking great and will look even better when the dunes are completed in the fall,” he said.
For the time being, the work they did is making summer enjoyable for Toms River residents.
“The expanded beach will provide protection from storms until the dunes are completed in the fall,” he said.