LONG BRANCH:The city's plans for pier and ferry terminal are still alive.
Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said this month that the city is negotiating with the "successful team on the contract to move forward with the next phase of design and we hope to get that nailed down within the next few weeks."
The pier would be located at the end of Laird Street and include restaurants, entertainment venues, retail stores, amusements, and a ferry service to Manhattan, officials have said.
The proposed ferry service would connect travelers directly to New York in about 40 minutes. Over the years there have been five pier structures built in Long Branch and the last pier was destroyed by a fire in 1987.
The problem is and has been the estimated price tag of about $100 million to construct the pier/ferry terminal.
However, Woolley said there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.
"There have been a couple of groups who have talked to us about possibly funding the pier, which is something we're optimistic about," Woolley said. "Prior to that we knew we could get the thing designed, but we didn't know who was going to pay for the construction of it, but there have been a couple of folks who have expressed preliminary interest in getting involved in construction."
Woolley said city officials remain "cautiously optimistic" about the funding.