LONG BRANCH: After over three years, the city's boardwalk is rebuilt and open to the public.
"It was a herculean effort, but look at the end result," Senator Jennifer Beck said at the city's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new boardwalk on April 11.
The ceremony was attended local officials and a large crowd of locals who came out to see the finished product.
The project started in June, 2015 and was finished ahead of schedule by contractor George Harms Construction Co.
"The contract called for completion by Memorial Day of this year, and we obviously have surpassed that timeframe thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of people and a great jobs by Harms Construction Company," Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said.
Woolley also thanked the mayor and council, all of the city officials who helped bring the project to life and FEMA for helping fund the boardwalk's construction.
The boardwalk is wider than the one that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and it has three pavilions with concession stands and bathrooms, as well as LED lighting, landscaping and railing similar to what is currently located in Pier Village.
There are 10 access points from Brighton Avenue to Morris Avenue, four of which will be handicap accessible. The handicap accessible beaches are at Cottage Place, West End Avenue, North Bath Avenue and Pavilion Avenue.
Mayor Adam Schneider said the last few years without the boardwalk have been "frustrating" but said the city has still had three of its most profitable summers.
"This year is going to be the best summer ever," Schneider said.