Governor Christie Expects Livable Jersey Shore This Summer [VIDEO/AUDIO]
Rebuilding and restoration efforts continue up and down the Jersey Shore, and good progress is being made, but what will things look like when the weather gets warmer this summer?
Last night on "Ask The Governor," Chris Christie said when it comes to reopening parts of the Shore devastated by Sandy, "I think Memorial Day is probably a little bit early, and given this year in particular, with all the time off we've had from school." The governor said most public school students will be in class until the end of June to get the full 180 days in.
A Late Start to the Summer Season at the Shore
"So what I'm really shooting for is the beginning of summer being the 4th of July. By the 4th of July, what you're going to see is a livable Jersey Shore. Every business will not be reopened, every home will certainly not be rebuilt, every amusement will not be repaired or replaced, but some of all that will be done."
He said, "Most importantly, I think we'll have the beaches back in bathing shape and the Army Corp. will have begun their dune projects...You'll see a lot of these boardwalks rebuilt- I think Seaside Heights will be rebuilt, Belmar will be rebuilt, Point Pleasant will be rebuilt, but not every amusement will be rebuilt. In talking to the guys who run the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, they're going to be able to get half their pier back up and running by the summer...And we don't know what's going to happen at the other end of the Seaside Heights boardwalk - whether they're going to rebuild at all or whether they're going to do something different down there."
"Point Pleasant seems ready to go - they've made a deal with the municipality on the disputes they were having, Wildwood is expanding and enhancing...Atlantic City and south are doing extraordinarily well and don't have nearly the damage we have north of Atlantic City. So one of the things you'll see this summer is you may see a lot more people heading further south, and you might see more people going to Ocean City and more people going to Wildwood."
The Governor pointed out, "We've already removed about 3 1/2 million cubic yards of debris from the state. It's going to landfills in Pennsylvania and other states. It's an enormous job - 17 towns are already completely clear of debris - and we've got another 30-some that are partially clear...And soon we're starting to move to the waterways. We had 14 hundred vessels sunken in our waterways during Sandy. In Mantoloking alone, we had 58 buildings washed into Barnegat Bay - we've got to remove all that from the Bay because right now the Bay is in large measure, not navigable."
"I believe it's going to be safe to go to Seaside Heights and Seaside Park and Lavallette and those places. Yes I do, but you may not be able to use your boat in Barnegat Bay in the same way you used to this summer - there may be restrictions in Barnegat Bay in terms of how you navigate, and so that's important...It's a big job, but I believe people will be safe."