LONG BRANCH: The construction of the Long Branch boardwalk is not likely to begin until after the 2014 beach season.
“My key has always been that there will be no construction from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said this week. “We have to have beach access (during the summer).”
The city received $14.5 million in January to repair its Hurricane Sandy-damaged bluff and boardwalk and officials are now doing design work for both structures.
“We couldn’t start designing anything until we knew how much money we would have,” Schneider said.
Schneider said the bluff, which serves as a foundation for the boardwalk, will be rebuilt stronger than it was before and may include some form of seawall, and that the boardwalk will be wider.
The bluff will also be repaired with a new concrete foundation, 95,740 cubic yards of additional material, and 11,489 square yards of dune grass, Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) has stated in the past.
Pallone has said the FEMA will cover the costs for the demolition and replacement of 69,850 square feet of boardwalk from Pier Village to West End. New decking, railing, lighting and ramps from the boardwalk to the beach will also be replaced.
Schneider said he expects the council to pick a design for the bluff and boardwalk in either March or April and that construction should be able to begin after Labor Day.
He said he does not expect the lack of a boardwalk to have a negative effect on beach revenue or business this summer. With no boardwalk and temporary access points in place, the city still raked in $1.6 million in beach badge revenue in 2013.