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Long Beach picks design firm for new boardwalk

The boardwalk at Lincoln Boulevard in Long Beach,

The boardwalk at Lincoln Boulevard in Long Beach, New York. (Nov. 6, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

About three months after Long Beach's boardwalk was destroyed by superstorm Sandy, the city has selected a firm to design its replacement.

The city council tapped LiRo Engineers of Syosset to prepare plans and specifications for the new boardwalk -- a process that will include input from city officials and residents, council members said Tuesday night.

LiRo will be paid $565,307, while the entire project -- which city officials have said could be finished by the summer -- is expected to cost $25 million.

City Manager Jack Schnirman said the firm will be the city's "coach" in redesigning the boardwalk, a beloved century-old landmark that stretched 2.2 oceanfront miles.

"It's like if you were going to build a house," councilman John McLaughlin said. "I think of the engineer more as the architect of the house."

Some residents at the Tuesday meeting suggested that the boardwalk reconstruction be tied to efforts to mitigate against future storms. Others said the city should hold public hearings on the project before design begins.

The city also needs to pressure LiRo to finish the work quickly, said resident Joann Genduso.

"There has to be a huge incentive for them to finish on time," she said.

Council member Michael Fagen said he agreed with the idea of public hearings about the boardwalk. He abstained from the vote, which passed 4-0.

"Everyone seems to have a passionate opinion about what the boardwalk should be," he said.

LiRo was one of three firms that interviewed for the project. The firm has worked on projects, including the post-9/11 rebuilding of lower Manhattan and the extension of the New York City subway's No. 7 line.

The demolition of the wreckage of the boardwalk began in early January and is about half done, city officials said.

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