LONG BRANCH: The long-awaited construction of the city's new boardwalk began this week with a June 4 groundbreaking ceremony attended by local officials and those who helped get the project off the ground.
Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley thanked all that assisted in getting the work moving.
"All these people worked very diligently with us to get this project approved," Woolley said. "There's a lot of work that needs to be done to get something like this done," Woolley said.
It took the city longer than expected to receive the necessary approval from FEMA and other agencies to build the new boardwalk, the patience was worth it because the new structure will be larger and better than the original.
Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said he knew from an early point that it would not be an easy road to get to today's groundbreaking.
"When you started to get the sense of the damage and how bad it was and what we needed to accomplish, a month later we were telling people it's not about getting it done quickly, it's about getting it done right," Schneider said.
The boardwalk will be located in the same footprint as the old structure, but it will be 6 feet wider from Brighton Avenue to South Bath Avenue and 10 feet wider from South Bath Avenue to Morris Avenue.
Three pavilions with concession stands and bathrooms will also be included in the project. The one located at Cottage Place will only have a bathroom but will have space for what will later become concessions, office or storage space, Freda said. The goal is to have the pavilions built by mid-July, 2016.
New LED lighting and railing will also be installed and be similar to what is currently located in Pier Village.
There will be 10 access points from Brighton Avenue to Morris Avenue, four of which will be handicap accessible. The handicap accessible beaches will be Cottage Place, West End Avenue, North Bath Avenue and Pavilion Avenue.
TheJune 1 with substantial completion of the boardwalk and bluff by Memorial Day, 2016.
Schneider said he is glad to see the project coming to fruition after years of hard work.
"Construction has started, the work has begun and its going to be great when it's done," Schneider said. "Every critical issue is going to be taken care of."
Substantial completion of the boardwalk and bluff is expected by Memorial Day, 2016.