Big Night Tonight In Ocean Gate
The boardwalk in Ocean Gate is about to get a major revamp almost five months after Superstorm Sandy.
Tonight, the borough council will approve a $628,000 contract with Ohio-based Signature Bridge to rebuild the one mile walkway, wiped out during the October 2012 storm. They had to go out to bid again after their first contractor fell through due to some mathematical issues. They are still looking to have it completed in time for the summer.
Way before Sandy hit, engineers were revamping parts of the boardwalk, a little at a time. They had about 2,500 feet of the structure replaced with strong wood and newer building codes. When Sandy came through, it destroyed about 85-90 percent of the structure. The good news was most of the new sections suffered no damage whatsoever. There was one portion that was pushed up by water but it remained intact.
While Mayor Paul Kennedy is excited about the prospect of getting the new boardwalk ready, he's concerned about the timetable since there were so many delays. Kennedy says "we have been working to clear the debris and keep the slate ready for the builders to come in. There's a 90-day clause in the agreement so that means it will have to be done within 90 days of the start date. Weather permitting, we hope to be able to welcome people back in Memorial Day - however, it all depends on the start time."
He adds, "The borough really took a beating. We were hit hard with damage to homes and businesses, there was flooding and other issues. Now we have something to look forward to. Because the storm didn't affect the newly renovated boardwalk sections, we will use the same type of building practices on the full structure."
Also on the slate for tonight, new methods for future storm protections will be discussed. Kennedy says their engineer is putting specs together for three projects including a sea wall, a sand berm and even beach prisms in the water. Someone will be on hand to talk about the latter project which could prevent future flooding on the coast. However, a DEP permit is needed before that project could get off the ground.
The meeting starts at 7 in Borough Hall.