The dredge pumping new sand for the beach reconstruction project at the south end of Ocean City is expected to return to work on Friday, July 31.The engine on the Liberty Island died on May 30 and the ship had been in port for seven weeks as it was replaced. It returned to Ocean City on Monday (July 20) for what was expected to be the restart of work. But the dredge broke again on its first test pump.A reduction gearbox has been repaired, and the Liberty Island is expected to be back from port in Norfolk, Va., in time to start work on Friday, according to Richard Pearsall, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.Work to rebuild eroded beaches between 37th and 59th streets in Ocean City began April 20 and was expected to be complete by now. But the delays have pushed the restart of the project into the heart of the summer vacation season in the resort.The most recent repair will add 11 days to a project that had been scheduled to be complete by Sept. 9.__________Sign up for free OCNJ Daily news updates by email.__________The hopper dredge is a ship that pumps sand into its hold from an offshore borrow area, then travels closer to Ocean City to hook up with a pipeline that feeds the new sand onto the beach.Crews from the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois have completed work between 37th Street and 47th Street. The current phase of the project started at 55th Street and was moving toward 47th Street when the dredge died at 52nd Street.The final phase of the project will start at 55th Street and move southward to 59th Street.All beaches in Ocean City are open as the dredge is repaired. When it returns on July 31, work will resume at 51st Street and move north toward 47th Street. Typically about two blocks of beach are closed at a time when work is ongoing.When it’s done, Ocean City will have received approximately 1.6 million cubic yards of sand on approximately 2.5 miles of beach from 37th Street to 59thStreet. The $57 million project includes Strathmere and Sea Isle City, and is funded entirely by the federal government. The hopper dredge Liberty Island (background) pumps sand onto the beach at 51st Street on its last day at work (Friday, May 29) before an engine failure.