The job of rebuilding one of New Jersey's most popular boardwalks has begun.

 

Governor Christie at the start of construction on the new boardwalk in Belmar (ilya Hemlin)

Belmar began construction on a 1.3-mile boardwalk to replace the walkway destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in October. The goal is to have it done by May.

Gov. Chris Christie helped Belmar officials kick off the construction Wednesday morning.

Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty says new designs including the use of strong hurricane tie-down straps will help anchor the new boardwalk to its support moorings. The town intended to rebuild the boardwalk with tropical rain forest wood but abandoned those plans Tuesday, saying it wanted to avoid a protracted legal battle with environmentalists.

Other shore towns are also about to begin work on their own damaged boardwalks, including Seaside Heights and Spring Lake.

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