The first piling for the new Seaside Heights boardwalk was drilled into the sand today (Friday) marking a huge step toward recovery in the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged town. The piling was the first of 2,000 that need to be placed in the ground, the Asbury Park Press reports. The support poles must be standing before the boards can start being laid along the 16-block boardwalk that is the heart and soul of the Jersey shore beach community.
The new boardwalk will cost more than $3.6 million dollars. The contract requires the contractor to be finished the work by May 10 or fines to the tune of $7,500 a day. Borough leaders are desperate to have the boardwalk ready for the summer tourism season since it funds 75% of the borough's annual budget. As Examiner.com previously reported, the current contract is only for the pilings and the boardwalk. It does not include railings or ramps which will be built later following a separate bidding process.
The start of work today on the new Seaside Heights boardwalk comes nearly four months after the superstorm devastated the town made famous on MTV's "Jersey Shore." Many residents, all of whom had to evacuate for 11 weeks following the storm, were on hand for the start of work today on the boardwalk.
The entire Seaside Heights boardwalk was damaged or destroyed in the storm. What little was left standing had to be removed making way for a whole new boardwalk.