Work on the new Seaside Heights boardwalk, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, will begin this month. Today (Friday) a $9.7 billion federal aid package was passed for Sandy victims, however it is to aid homeowners. A second and more controversial part of the bill, to help property owners and local governments in New Jersey and New York recover costs associated with the storm, will be taken up by members of the House on January 15. However, Seaside Heights leaders are not waiting around for the vote - they've vowed to start reconstruction on the 16-block boardwalk soon and have already opened the contract bidding period. "We’re going to continue moving forward because we’re on a timetable. There’s only one summer next year and we have to be ready for it," NJ.com quotes Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers as saying.
Akers vows to have the boardwalk, made famous on MTV's "Jersey Shore" open by Memorial Day 2013. He has said the revenue from the boardwalk is a huge contributor to the borough's annual budget and without it the financial damage to the community would be even worse.
The Seaside Heights boardwalk is the heart of the tourist-driven Jersey shore town. A majority of the boardwalk was wiped out by the superstorm in late October. What wasn't destroyed had to be bulldozed due to the extensive damage to the pilings.
It's estimated it will cost close $13 million to rebuild the Seaside Heights boardwalk.