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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New section of Long Beach boardwalk opens
Span west of Laurelton Boulevard completed; city officials say project is on schedule
By Anthony Rifilato
Anthony Rifilato/Herald
The city announced the opening of yet another section of the boardwalk on Friday.

The city announced the opening of yet another section of the new boardwalk on Friday, and residents will now be able to stroll, bike and run on the most recently completed addition, west of Laurelton Boulevard to just east of Lafayette Boulevard.

"This is an event that residents of our great city will see throughout the summer and fall, as sections of the boardwalk are finished and released back to the city from Grace Industries," City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement, referring to the contractor responsible for rebuilding the 2.2-mile structure. "We invite all of our residents to enjoy the now almost mile-long boardwalk. See you all there!"

The opening of the new section comes two weeks after hundreds of runners, bicyclists and pedestrians gathered on the first completed section of the new boardwalk — from Long Beach Road to Magnolia Boulevard — the same day that city officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark its official reopening, nine months after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

The new structure features a low-maintenance tropical hardwood called ipe (pronounced ee-pay) that has a 30- to 40-year lifespan. A wooden span with concrete edges was built between Long Beach Road and National Boulevard, and the walkway’s eastern and western sections will be all wood.

The design features 2x6 boards instead of the previous 2x4s, laid out east-west, in contrast to the north-south design of the old boardwalk, with 1/8-inch gaps between them. Officials have said this will promote the flow of bikes, strollers and wheelchairs by reducing vibrations.

City officials said that the $44.2 million construction project is on schedule and on budget. Construction will continue simultaneously both east and west of the new section, with completion of the entire span scheduled for November. City officials have said that completed areas will be opened to the public as the work progresses.

On Monday, the city released a two-week work schedule, from Aug 5-18, that included installation of ipe wood decking, aluminum pipe railings, electrical cables and other work from Laurelton to Lafayette boulevards.

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