Long Beach has taken a step city officials say is a major move toward recovery from superstorm Sandy -- the removal and disposal of its battered boardwalk.
The city council on Tuesday selected a Farmingdale firm to do the job for $1.435 million. The cost of replacing the entire 2.2-mile boardwalk fronting the Atlantic Ocean is expected to be about $25 million, officials have said.
A city council resolution described the boardwalk -- favored by morning joggers, midday walkers and weekend day-trippers -- as "beloved and iconic," but also "unsafe and no longer viable."
"We're looking at the boardwalk as a top priority," City Manager Jack Schnirman said. "That's why we expedited the demolition to start as soon as possible."
Thomas Novelli Contracting of Farmingdale was the lowest of three bidders for the removal project, according to documents filed at City Hall. The work includes removing all wooden pieces, railings, lighting and ramps, the documents state.
The boardwalk is home to more than 700 memorial benches that residents have paid to sponsor over the years, often in the name of deceased relatives. The city will house the benches "until the new boardwalk is rebuilt at which time they will be reset on the boardwalk," stated a resolution passed by the City Council.
Schnirman declined to estimate when the boardwalk would be fully removed, but added the work was starting soon.
The decision to remove the boardwalk came on the same day the council voted to spend $316,300 to clean and disinfect eight buildings that suffered severe water damage during Sandy. They are the recreation center, senior center, water purification plant, waste water treatment plant, ice arena, the arena's nearby Ranger Room, the central garage and sanitation garage. JBH International, a Garden City Park firm, will do the job.
JLC Environmental, a Manhattan firm, was tapped to perform air monitoring in the same eight buildings. The firm will be paid $42,560, according to records filed at City Hall.
The city intends to use FEMA money to pay for the boardwalk removal and the buildings work, Schnirman said.