Lavallette Set to Open New Boardwalk [AUDIO]
After taking a beating from Superstorm Sandy, another shore town is happy to report its boardwalk is completely rebuilt.
Lavallette will be joined by Gov. Chris Christie on Monday to hammer in the ceremonial golden spikes symbolizing the completion of their brand new boardwalk.
Borough Mayor Walter Locicero says the difference between now and when the storm hit is astonishing.
"Well, the day after Sandy was a pretty bleak day. We've got a 26-block long boardwalk and about 22 of those blocks were completely destroyed."
Locicero says the $1.3 million project was actually finished ahead of schedule, ensuring plenty of time before the all-important Memorial Day weekend.
"Ninety-five percent of our summer businesses will be back up and running and the other five percent that left have already been replaced. We will have very few vacancies as far as commercial properties are concerned."
The borough has been fighting an uphill battle spreading the word of their recovery, especially after being lumped with neighboring Ortley Beach, which was wreaked by the storm.
"We're expecting that we're going to be very, very busy because some of the other beaches will not be fully open, but we'll have every one of ours open for use."
Three-quarters of the promenade's cost will be funded by FEMA, and Locicero says tax payers will be responsible for the rest. However, he notes they've launched a successful "buy-a-board" program to help defer the costs.
"You can purchase a board and have it inscribed with your own personal message. I think we sold 1,500 of those at $250."
Beach badges will be sold for $35 for advanced sales and $45 once the season starts. Daily and mid-season passes will be available as well.