Long Branch: Long Branch City Council passed a Resolution to move forward with the Phase 2 of the Long Branch Pier Project, awarding the project phase to Arup Group Limited, an international management and consulting firm headquartered in London. Arup will provide architectural and engineering services to the proposed Pier Project.
Arup was chosen among three competing companies that responded to the July 2013 RFQ/P.
Early rough estimates have placed the total costs of pier construction at about $100 million. Phase 2 of the project involves design and cost benefit analysis for ferry service from Fun City.
The proposed high-speed ferry service would connect the city direct to New York. The 40-minute travel to lower Manhattan would cut the travel time from Long Branch to less than half the current time NJ Transit Trains and local bus service typically takes.
Currently there are two ferry services from Belford, Atlantic Highlands and Highlands operated by NY Waterway and SeaStreak respectively. The proposed city ferry, however, would be the first service operated from an oceanfront location direct to NYC.
Mayor Adam Schneider said he expected the new pier to help attract businesses and investors to the city. The mayor and others see the pier and ferry as having significant growth and economic potential. The Pier Project is a key piece of the city's long term master plan, however, it does share the spotlight with pressing issues to restore the beachfront following Hurricane Sandy.
Councilwoman Dr. Mary Jane Celli shares Mayor Schneider's vision and sees the Pier Project and ferry service to New York in the city's future. She is an advocate to keeping the project alive.