MANTOLOKING - Two of the towns hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy will soon be protected by a steel sea wall.

Mantoloking and Brick have received federal and state approval for the wall that will be covered by sand and form the base of a makeshift dune system. Work is expected to begin this fall.

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The steel wall will extend 16 feet above the beach and reach 32 feet below the ground to keep it firmly anchored. The metal will not be visible because of the sand covering it.

It is meant as a short-term protective measure, to be complemented by an extensive beach widening and dune construction project being planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The federal government will pay 80 percent of the cost of the steel wall, with the state paying the remainder. The towns' only expense will be to keep it covered with sand.

Mantoloking also hired an appraiser yesterday to determine the fair market value of land the borough is threatening to go to court and seize for a beach replenishment project.

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AP wire services contributed to this report.