For the past week, crews have been busy dredging a number of channels in Toms River on both sides of Barnegat Bay.

The new project is in addition to a separate, ongoing effort to dredge to Lavallette Channel, which runs from Seaside Heights and Ortley Beach to Normandy Beach, according to Stephen Schapiro, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, which is overseeing the work.

In Toms River, dredging is taking place at the Bayshore Bridge, Andrews Point, Pier 1, Silver Bay and the Silver Bay Entrance. Material removed from these state channels is being placed in a dredge hole near Hankins Park.

Dredge holes are portions of the bay where sand can be deposited into an area that has been deepened in order to accommodate sand from elsewhere.

The DOT is also conducting a new maintenance dredging project of a critical shoal in the Lavallette Beach Channel that will restore the channel to a state of good repair. The dredged material is being placed on top of a dredge hole just west of Bayside Park, on the Brick-Toms River border near Normandy Beach.

A dredge boat empties material at Bayside Park, Oct. 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
A dredge boat empties material at Bayside Park, Oct. 2020. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

“Boaters can expect to see a transport barges and dredges in the channels,” said Schapiro. “NJDOT will provide boaters with weekly safety advisories on the NJDOT Twitter page (@NJDOT_info) regarding what to expect on the water.”