Shore Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-13) is joining residents of the Port Monmouth section of Middletown in a petition drive to get the Army Corps of Engineers to deliver on infrastructure changes that were promised a decade ago.

Handlin says the small community is prone to flooding, and didn’t just suffer after Hurricane Sandy, but also faced flooding from past storms and nor’easters. The assemblywoman will be at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post at 2179 Veterans Lane (off Route 36, between Church Street and Wilson Avenue) on Thursday at 7:30 pm.

She says the residents have been overlooked for too long as their spot on the Army Corp’s “to-do” list kept being moved down.

“Here we are, more than ten years later and nothing has been done, not a shovel has gone into the ground. After their experience with Hurricane Sandy the residents were simply no longer willing to be patient.”

The Assemblywoman is specifically targeting Congressman Frank Pallone in the petition, claiming that securing the project’s completion is his responsibility as the representative for the area. Something Handlin says Pallone failed to do.

“He’s been there for many years and is very much aware of the severity of the problem.”

The project recently received major funding from the Army Corps of Engineers via Sandy Relief Aid, and is slated to begin in late 2013 or early 2014. It will include dune restoration, beach replenishment, the construction of a terminal groin and extension of the fishing pier, involving roughly 400,000 cubic yards of sand.

Handlin won’t be satisfied until shovel’s are in the ground, noting there is a difference between funding being approved and tangible action.

She notes beyond bringing the issue to Congressman Pallone, the petition drive will educate and empower the residents of Port Monmouth.

“Once people understand what’s going and understand that they have the power to make people pay attention, they’ll keep using this approach.”