Five miles of Atlantic City oceanfront undergoes an $18,000,000 replenishment project starting this weekend.

Officials at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection today announced the start of work by the Army Corps of Engineers from Absecon Inlet to Fredricksburg Avenue in Ventnor, at the Margate boundary.

Plans call for the replacement of 1,325,000 cubic yards of beach fill in a pumping process expected to last 40 days in Atlantic City and 30 days in Ventnor.

Improvements include rebuilt pedestrian, handicapped and vehicle beach crossovers, dune and beach grass plantings, and sand fence construction. The Corps also plans renovations to three Atlantic City stormwater outfall spots: at New Jersey Avenue; near the Steel Pier; and fronting Resorts Hotel and Casino.

Army Corps Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Philip Secrist says it's the first upgrade for the spot since 2004. In a statement, Secrist says it will reduce the impacts of storms on infrastructure. "Based on Corps estimates, the project has already prevented millions of dollars of damage from the recent Irene and Lee coastal storms alone," says Secrist.

Contractors from Weeks Marine will work until June 29, then knock off for the busy summer season and return September 5. Atlantic City is contributing $1,100,000, Ventor is adding $525,000. DEP's share is $4,300,000 through the New Jersey Shore Protection Fund, and the federal government pays the remaining $11,700,000.