City awards $44.2 million boardwalk contract
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A groundbreaking date has yet to be determined, since Grace Industries still has to obtain the necessary building materials and provide the city with insurance and other documents, among other preliminary work. Officials said that the city and LiRo would monitor the construction work and hold Grace Industries to a tight timeline. LaCarrubba said that there may be limited access to the beach in areas where there is construction, and that the city would open sections of the boardwalk as they are completed.
Grace, a subsidiary of the Haugland Group LLC, was the second-lowest of six bidders, whose bids ranged from $40 million to $65 million. LaCarrubba and Gerbasi said that the company has solid references. It has worked on projects for the New York state and city departments of transportation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Nassau and Suffolk counties, include large-scale highway, bridge, airport and drainage construction.
A number of residents asked about the project’s price, saying that it is substantially higher than the cost of other boardwalk projects in the works along the East Coast in the aftermath of Sandy. The city had initially said that the cost to rebuild the boardwalk would be $25 million.
But the project now includes stronger materials to prevent damage from future storms. City officials are hoping that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for the rebuild, saying that FEMA’s hazard mitigation program could provide additional funding under the Stafford Act, which helps states and localities implement long-term damage-prevention measures after major disasters.
The new boardwalk will feature a low-maintenance tropical hardwood that has a 30- to 40-year lifespan. A wooden span with concrete edges will be built from National Boulevard to Long Beach Road, and the walkway’s eastern and western sections will be all wood.