The new boardwalk features a low-maintenance tropical hardwood 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.
“We’re very excited to be here,” said Robbin Chernoff Timperio, a third-generation Long Beach resident, who was biking with her daughters, Cyla, 10, and Ella, 7, at National Boulevard. “It’s beautiful, and the feel is amazing. It’s much stronger, and we’re excited because every Saturday and Sunday we do a family bike ride. … [I]t rides really nice. They did a good job.”
The boardwalk’s new antique-style light posts, Schnirman said, use energy-efficient LED lighting, and Wi-Fi will now be available on both the boardwalk and the beach. He added that the memorial benches are being refurbished and will be installed soon.
“My grandfather was a lifeguard on National [Boulevard], and my grandmother moved here from Belgium,” Chernoff Timperio said. “He saved her when she was drowning, and that’s how my family started in this town. Normally, their bench is right here on National, so we’re hoping it comes back.
“There is so much history on this boardwalk,” she added. “I remember learning how to ride a bike on this boardwalk. I remember strolling [my children] when they were first born; it was an incredible memory. And just those beautiful mornings when you would get up before work and take a run with the ocean by your side. It’s exciting to see it back, and it was heartbreaking to see it when it got destroyed. And you see all your family and friends here. One woman that I just saw, I hadn’t seen in 20 years.”
City officials said that the boardwalk construction is on schedule and on budget. Last week, the first five blocks of construction passed Department of Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba’s inspection, and he determined that Grace Industries had fulfilled their contractual obligation.