A crane, a loader and an excavator stood poised for action at the Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs Friday afternoon, where a long-awaited project to dig out the Sengekontacket channel will begin early Monday.

Enormous deposits of sand have collected on both sides of the Beach Road bridge since Hurricane Sandy hit in October of 2012, blocking the exchange of water between the salt pond and the ocean.

This week contractors will begin to remove approximately 6,800 cubic yards of sediment from deposits under the bridge and 196 feet out to sea.

Watercourse Construction owned by Dale McClure will do the job. — Mark Lovewell

When it’s done, a healthy current will return to the channel, subcontractor Dale McClure of Watercourse Construction said Friday afternoon while leaning against his excavator and surveying the work ahead of him.

“You’ll be able to take a boat through there,” he said.

The dredging is expected to improve the water quality of Sengekontacket pond, but the project will benefit other parts of town as well.

Once the sand is removed and dehydrated overnight, it will be trucked to Pay Beach, a public beach near the Steamship Authority terminal which has eroded in recent years. The neighboring Inkwell Beach will also receive a comb over and a light top dressing of sediment, the town said last week.

“I think everyone will be pleased,” Mr. McClure said.

If residents are pleased with the new buffer on their beaches, it will be a change of pace from a year ago, when they complained that deposits dredged from Lagoon Pond in Tisbury and deposited on the town beaches were oily, smelly, and contaminated of foreign objects.

Some 6,800 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the channel beneath bridge. — Mark Lovewell

In response to the public outcry, the town removed most of the dark sediment from the beaches.

Mr. McClure has a maximum of 30 days to complete the project, but he and his partners expect to finish in two or three weeks.

Most of the project costs will be paid with a $289,000 disaster aid grant which was awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of its Hurricane Sandy response. The town is also contributing an additional $89,000.

Mr. McClure has dredged the site 10 times before, but this is by far the largest pile of sand he’s removed from the site.

Before this bid, the largest dig he performed there was 3,000 cubic yards.

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, the town dredged the site on an annual basis to ensure a healthy exchange of water between pond and sea.

But when the hurricane hit, forcing an unusual amount of sediment into the channel, the town appealed to the federal government to help them remove it.

FEMA was slow to comply with the request, but last December, they agreed to help out.

When bids came back from contractors this spring, the town went with the bid with local ties: International Golf Company, the company that built Farm Neck Golf Course across the way.

That company will handle the paperwork and Watercourse Construction and the R.M. Packer Company, both of Vineyard Haven, will do, quite literally, the heavy lifting.