Work crews buried the 59th Street jetty on Monday.
There was no sign of it on Tuesday.
Ocean City property owners and beachgoers are happy to see a massive project to rebuild Ocean City’s eroded south end beaches enter its final days.
But on Tuesday, many were staring at the work and wondering in jest, “Where are we?”
For as long as anyone alive today can remember, the iconic 59th Street Pier and adjacent jetty marked the end of the beach in Ocean City — picturesque landmarks and a dividing line between Ocean City and the undeveloped Corson’s Inlet State Park.
Storms had ravaged the 59th Street Pier long before an excavator plucked the last vestiges of it from the surf in June and erased it from the landscape. (See: Photo Gallery and Memories of 59th Street Pier in Ocean City.)
The pier and jetty provided an identity to the south end, and a playground and photographic backdrop to generations of Ocean City visitors over the course of a century.
The jetty now lies beneath a high and wide beach at the end of the project area. The beach will be tapered over the next few days to meet the narrower beach at Corson’s Inlet State Park, which is not part of the project area.
The jetty is under a new frontal dune that stretches in an uninterrupted line across the length of the project area.
The work is part of a $57 million federal Army Corps of Engineers project to restore beaches from 37th Street to 59th Street in Ocean City and across the length of Strathmere and Sea Isle City. The work is funded entirely by the federal government in a post-Superstorm Sandy effort to protect all of New Jersey’s coastline.
The project began in April with an outside contractor — Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company — completing the work. Engine problems with the hopper dredge used to transport new sand from an offshore borrow area led to an 11-week delay.
But sand-pumping is now expected to be complete sometime next week. The latest Army Corps update suggests Sept. 25 for completion of the project.
Work on dune crossovers and clearing the beach of pipeline and equipment will continue for another 5 to 7 days after sand-pumping is complete. The planting of dune grass will take place in the November planting season.