After sitting idle for six days, the dredge Illinois returned to work on Tuesday and resumed pumping sand onto the beaches at the north end of Ocean City.
Rough seas last week forced the hydraulic dredge to take shelter in the bay behind Longport. But tugboats pulled the dredge back into place at a borrow area off Surf Road at about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Work had been stalled between First Street and Second Street.
The $9 million dredging project will pump 700,000 cubic yards of new sand to rebuild eroded beaches from Seaspray Road to 15th Street. The project started on Nov. 2 and is expected to take between 45 and 60 days. The area between Seaspray Road and First Street is complete, and the project is heading progressively southward to the finish line at 15th Street.
The remaining portions of the project will be visible from the boardwalk.
The work is part of a regular three-year cycle of beach renourishment projects. The federal Army Corps of Engineers is working with the state Department of Environmental Protection to rebuild beaches across the length of the New Jersey coastline.
The City of Ocean City is responsible for 8.75 percent of the project cost, with the federal and state governments paying the rest.