A plan of action for the eroding East Chop Bluff is taking shape in Oak Bluffs, where the town recently received state funding to get started on a substantial restoration.

The imperiled bluff leading down to Vineyard Sound from East Chop Drive has been a source of concern for decades, with recent erosion making it a press point for town officials. A three-year restoration project estimated at $11 million to $13 million is in the works, and the town is looking at ways to pursue further funding.

“With every rainstorm it just gets weaker and weaker,” conservation agent Liz Durkee said this week. “I’m somewhat optimistic now that there are grants out there that can get us moving forward.”

Earlier this month, town administrator Robert Whritenour announced a $195,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to go toward engineering, permitting and construction services for the project. He said the grant was a critical step forward as it would make the project “shovel-ready” and allow the town to qualify for additional grants.

Concern about the dramatic bluff and scenic drive dates back years, but the situation became more urgent after Hurricane Sandy and other storms in 2012 and 2013 compromised the bluff, with erosion undermining stability and leading to a precautionary closure of one lane on East Chop Drive since 2013. The town has also been working on funding for several years, including working with FEMA to see if the town could qualify for funding from that agency. An appeal with FEMA is still pending, town officials aid.

Project engineer Carlos Pena told selectmen in a February update that the bottom of the bank has continued to deteriorate, which could cause the bank to collapse in, and the road above to fail. An existing stone revetment is not high enough to stop the waves from eroding the bottom of the bank, he said.

“What we don’t want to do is wait until we have some sort of event on top of that bank and have the road washed out,” Mr. Pena said. “I don’t think that benefits anybody.”

Selectman Walter Vail said winter storms caused further damage to the bluff and he’s observed damage that was new as of January. “More and more of that happening every year with every storm,” he said.

Ms. Durkee said rainstorms have saturated the sandy soil at the top of the bluff, causing the top to slump, while the waves are eroding the bottom.

Plans call for bringing the stone revetment up about eight feet, above the 100-year flood elevation, and changing the slope on the bank so it would be more stable. Vegetation such as beach grass and rosa rugosa would be planted on the upper portion of the bank so the roots would help hold the soil in place.

Mr. Pena said other potential features include adding a walking path on the top of the bank that would run the entire length of East Chop Drive and perhaps creating stairs down to the revetment and the water for people who want to fish or swim. Work would likely be broken down into two parts, he said, that would take place over a few different seasons. A preliminary timeline calls for the project to be completed in 2020.

The conservation commission will hold public hearings about the project before it begins.

Mr. Pena said construction should start as soon as October and the town will be turning to local representatives for political support, applying for more grants, and applying for permits and preparing a final plan.

Board of selectmen chairman Gail Barmakian noted last month that there are few funding sources that would cover the entire project, and the town should prepare to set aside any needed funding.

“The key to success is soliciting funds from the state,” Mr. Pena said.