Boardwalk to open Saturday

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Thursday marked the 100th day of the boardwalk construction, a date that Grace Industries — the Plainview-based contractor doing the rebuild — was required to meet a contractually obligated milestone to “substantially complete” the first five blocks of boardwalk, from Long Beach Road to Laurelton Boulevard.

City officials said that the boardwalk construction is on schedule and on budget. On Wednesday, Department of Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba determined that the first five-blocks of construction had passed his inspection and that Grace Industries had fulfilled their contractual obligation.

However, the area from just west of Magnolia Boulevard to Laurelton Boulevard will remain closed for the time being to serve as a “staging area” for the construction team. While considered complete, that block will be used to store materials and equipment for now. As the construction moves west, that area will open up to the public. This condition was a provision of the contract, said Mandel.

“We’ve been working tirelessly to make sure no T is left uncrossed, and it shows,” said Mandel. “We said from the start we were going to make sure the work is monitored, the work progresses, and as soon as sections are complete, they become available to the public. We’ve come through on each and every promise.”

Schnirman addressed the absence of the beloved memorial benches, explaining that they are being refurbished, and will be installed soon. The new light posts, he said, use energy-efficient LED lighting. And additionally, Wi-Fi will now be available on the boardwalk and beach.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed the 2.2-mile mile boardwalk, and the city awarded a $44.2 million contract to Grace Industries to rebuild it, with the hope that some sections would be completed in time for the summer, a critical time for the city’s economy.

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