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Seaside Boardwalk Aims for Memorial Day Opening [AUDIO]

Governor Christie on the boardwalk Saturday
Gov. Chris Christie on the Seaside Heights boardwalk in September 2013. (Tim Larson, Governor’s Office)

 

With Memorial Day fast approaching, Seaside Heights businesses are offering to fund the rebuilding of the boardwalk in order to make a summer opening.

Businesses along a 250-foot stretch of the promenade from Dupont to Porter Avenues are volunteering to rebuild privately rather than apply for federal aid. In neighboring Seaside Park, businesses have agreed to a similar proposal.

The goal is not only to connect the 68-foot-wide boardwalk in time for Memorial Day, but also to save both boroughs a significant amount of money — roughly $400,000 for Seaside Heights and $800,000 for Seaside Park.

That’s according to Seaside Heights spokesman Michael Graichen, who said while rebuilding the boards privately would likely allow them to avoid the bidding process, it would not excuse them from any safety measures.

“Every business that I know of that had to do a little bit (of repair) had to be rewired and everything,” Graichen said. “So I’m sure, no matter what happens, they’ll have to follow the code.”

He said the borough managed to complete most of its boardwalk construction before the winter came.

“I think now we’re looking at the plans to start the Hiering Avenue bath and locker situation, which of course was held up by the weather,” Graichen said.

He anticipates it will all be ready in time for Memorial Day, although he said some shops might be set up in temporary trailers. Either way, the effects of last September’s fire will be felt.

“The north end of town, you’re missing some businesses, maybe five or 10,” Graichen said. “Now of course, on the fire end of town, you’re missing 30 or 40 businesses.”

Real estate owners of the one-block stretch between Dupont and Porter, Belle Freeman, also stated their intent to introduce a luxury hotel as well as more dining and entertainment options.

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