Long Beach to select firm to rebuild boardwalk Thursday

The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2 The Long Beach boardwalk remained heavily damaged 2 1/2 months after superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island area. (Jan. 15, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

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Long Beach will select Thursday a firm to rebuild its oceanfront boardwalk from a group of bids that came in higher than the city's $40 million estimate.

The city council will hold a special meeting to award a bid to replace the 2.2-mile boardwalk, which was destroyed by superstorm Sandy, Thursday at 7 p.m.

The city originally estimated it would cost $25 million to rebuild the boardwalk, and upped that to $40 million last month. Six bids for the project came in between $40.8 million and $65 million, city officials said Tuesday.

The city is likely to take one of the low bids, officials said.

"Our boardwalk process is moving forward," City Manager Jack Schnirman said, adding that the construction of the boardwalk will use "skilled workers from our local Long Island workforce."

The new Long Beach boardwalk will be stronger than its predecessor because it will be made of resilient tropical wood, representatives from project engineer LiRo of Syosset have said. The stronger materials are also a driving force behind the boardwalk's higher price tag.

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An oceanfront boardwalk has been a fixture in the city for a century, but the old boardwalk was demolished and carted away in February after Sandy ruined it. The new boardwalk will have antique aesthetic touches and a wave-break wall made of vinyl and fiberglass, LiRo representatives have said.

Long Beach public works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba said a "considerable" amount of the boardwalk will be completed by the end of the summer.

The city also plans "to be able to open up sections during the summer as they become completed," he said.

City officials have said they hope to pay for the project with Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars.

Thursday night's meeting, at City Hall, is open to the public. City Hall is located at 1 West Chester St. in downtown Long Beach.

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