Boardwalks Gear Up For Memorial Day Weekend [POLL/AUDIO]
With Memorial Day Weekend only a few weeks away, Sandy-battered shore towns are putting on the finishing touches to their boardwalks.
Belmar and Seaside Heights, in particular, have some of the most well-known boardwalks, which suffered greatly after Sandy.
However, mayors from both municipalities say not only will their promenades be ready to go by Memorial Day, but also all of the other things visitors have come to expect from the Jersey Shore.
"The amenities you're used to having and the things you're used to doing, you'll be able to do in Seaside Heights," Says Mayor Bill Akers, who's borough's crippled boardwalk and piers served as an icon for the storm's destruction.
Akers says the primary construction on the boardwalk is expected to be done by Memorial Day.
"We'll tidy things up in the three weeks while the kids are still in school in June; adding all the permanent railings up, finishing up the ramps, running the rest of the electrical for the lighting, finishing the plumbing, putting up the P.A system, benches, and booths. All of the things we're going to need for the rest of summer."
Belmar meanwhile is getting a head start. The borough was the first to begin a complete rebuild on their 1.3 mile boardwalk, and has seen it completed at the beginning of May, ahead of schedule. Mayor Matt Doherty says now all that's left are the finishing touches.
"We have to put up safety rails, put in the lights, some concrete work, and the temporary trailers that are going to be here this year."
Doherty says all of the boardwalks vendors and restrooms will be exactly where they were last year, however they will be operating out of temporary trailers until permanent structures are built for Summer 2014.
Akers assures visitors that borough-wide, 85 percent of businesses will be re-opened. Additionally, parts of the piers will also reopen for rides and attraction.
"The top part of the pier will no doubt be out for this year, but the lower part of the pier by the middle part of July will be up with between 15 and 18 rides."
The infamous JetStar roller coaster remains in the water, however. Akers says while crews are on standby to remove the icon and surrounding debris, they are at the mercy of the weather.
"All we need is a westerly wind, for some reason to turn around. That will enable the barge to get to the JetStar itself, once we get up to it, it'll run 24/7 and we'll have the JetStar and the wet debris out in three days."