The federal government has reimbursed New York's parks department for nearly $2.5 million -- about 90 percent of the bill for repairing the storm-smashed 2-mile boardwalk at Jones Beach State Park, New York's two senators said Tuesday.
The Central Mall at Jones Beach, where superstorm Sandy twisted the boardwalk into roller coaster contortions, reopened Memorial Day weekend.
According to a news release, the Federal Emergency Management Agency paid for almost all of the extensive repairs that were needed. Some 443,121 linear feet of deck boards had to be removed, with 72,232.5 square feet of reusable decking installed. And 35,547.8 square feet of decking had to be replaced because it was so severely damaged, said the release from the offices of Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats.
The federal funding, which was announced last October, also paid to repair and replace handrails, wooden girders and conduits, light poles and fixtures.
"This federal funding will make sure that local taxpayers are not on the hook entirely for these expenses," said Schumer.
"I commend Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their commitment to rebuilding the Jones Beach boardwalk as it serves as an important symbol of our recovery," said Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican.
A new 0.7-mile access path that provides a safer direct link between the Wantagh State Parkway bike-pedestrian path and Jones Beach also was finished in time for Memorial Day. It runs through the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater parking lot to the pedestrian underpass leading to the East Bathhouse.
Between 6 and 8 million people visit Jones Beach every year, according to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.
The 6.5-mile-long beach, whose design was based on an ocean liner theme, was created in the 1920s as a "people's park" by master builder Robert Moses.