- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Work starts on Seaside Heights, NJ, boardwalk
Question of the Day
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) - When Superstorm Sandy washed over this popular Jersey shore resort, water poured in through the heating vents and electrical outlets of Linda Polites’ and Michael Riley’s home. A 10-foot section of boardwalk slammed into the house as they fled to the attic. Hours later, they waded through armpit-deep water to a military truck, then headed to the first of five emergency shelters that have been their home since.
On Friday, they traveled from their current shelter to see the start of the reconstruction of the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, a town known worldwide from the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.”
“It’s time to build new character,” Riley said. “You don’t lose your memories. It’s time to make new ones.”
Heavy equipment including a gigantic drill and a pile-driving machine were brought onto the sand in the south end of town Friday morning. They quickly began drilling holes in the sand and pounding wooden pilings into them, shaking the ground for blocks around.
It marked the beginning of a $3.6 million contract the borough awarded to rebuild the boardwalk. Mayor William Akers said the initial work _ restoring the boardwalk so that it can be walked on safely _ should be done by May 10. Railings, lighting and ramps will be part of a second contract that has yet to be awarded. The project is also likely to include a protective seawall, and cost between $6 million and $7 million, the mayor said.
“It’s a huge day for us, a new beginning for the town,” he said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work, starting with the rescues, the cleanup, the planning, culminating in the actual rebuilding of Seaside Heights.”
The town’s Jet Star roller coaster plunged off an amusement pier during the storm, coming to rest in the ocean as perhaps the most enduring image of Sandy. Plans still have not been finalized on how or when to remove it.
The entire length of the mile-long boardwalk is being rebuilt. It is the most famous of the numerous boardwalks destroyed by Sandy, known for its pizza and ice cream stands, its games of chance, arcades and bars with cheap beer specials.
Seaside Heights was famous long before MTV came to town, but Snooki, The Situation and Pauly D presented it to the world in a fist-pumping, hard-drinking blur. It angered some and delighted others until the show ended last year.
Michael Loundy, a real estate agent who rents out the house where the “Jersey Shore” cast lived while filming, could not overestimate the importance of getting the boardwalk back. (The cast’s house was not seriously damaged in the storm.)
“This is a proud moment for all of us, after everything we went through with Sandy,” he said. “We’re excited about rebuilding. We loved Seaside the way it was and we’ll love it again.”
He said potential tourist want to know if Seaside Heights will be ready in time for vacation season.
“Our phones are ringing,” he said. “People want to know: `Is the town open? Will you be ready? Will the beach be ready?’ We absolutely will be ready.”
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- Outrage over $190M border security deal for troubled federal contractor
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq