A $9.2 reimbursement from FEMA will pay for a large portion of Belmar’s boardwalk rebuilding. The federal agency announced it approved the reimbursement this week, giving the Hurricane Sandy battered borough a way to repay for the completed project.
Belmar, touted as the first Jersey Shore town to complete its boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy, moved quickly to put contracts in place to rebuild its beachfront, which were $7.99 million for the boardwalk to Epic Construction.
The FEMA grant will help pay for a portion of the boards’ cost of $7.99 million but also the boardwalk lighting and concrete ramps. It is also helping to pay for four beachfront playgrounds destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and the restriping of parking and traffic signals along Ocean Avenue, according to FEMA.
Belmar’s $9.2 reimbursement is the largest award of the grants announced Tuesday, with a total $12.92 million divided between Belmar, Lavallette and the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority in Public Assistance grant program.
“Nine months after Superstorm Sandy, New Jerseyans are walking down Belmar’s new boardwalk, the lights are on in Lavallette, and our utilities are operating more reliably. These are just a few reasons why we fought so hard in Congress to get the federal Sandy relief we needed in New Jersey,” said Senator Menendez, in a prepared statement. “It was the people of New Jersey’s determination and cooperation that enabled us to accomplish as much as we did in the first nine months of our recovery. And I won’t stop fighting for the federal resources we need until we fully recover and come back better and stronger than we were before the storm.”
Sen. Chiesa said the money was awarded to areas in desperate need and that towns are relying on FEMA funds to rebuild.
“These resources will help our communities continue repairing equipment and facilities severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey’s ongoing recovery has relied a great deal on FEMA assistance, providing our cities and towns with the resources they desperately need,” said Senator Chiesa, in a prepared statement. “In the immediate aftermath of Sandy, I saw the devastation the superstorm wreaked on our communities. As senator, I will continue to facilitate the good working relationship between New Jersey and the Federal government in meeting our state’s needs.”
According to the senators’ office, the Belmar money will be used specifically to reimburse $9,244,688.54 for repairs such as:
- replacing approximately 1,753 timber piles, 190,000 square feet of girders, stringers, and boardwalk deck.
- replacing 19 sets of street-side and beachside stairs and concrete sidewalk, stairs and curbs adjacent to boardwalk, and the pedestrian ramps, and railings.
- replacing the electrical system, 60 two-arm light poles and eight sewer, water, and electrical services including conduits.
- replacing estimated 20 galvanized metal bicycle ramps, 40 concrete trash receptacles, 83 concrete park benches, and 9,500 LF of sand fencing
- replacing vehicle concrete ramps for beach access at 3rd Ave, 11th Ave, and 20th Ave.
- replacing asphalt pavement and parking striping adjacent to boardwalk.
- replacing playground equipment, consisting of climbing equipment, crawl tubes and slides, at four locations.
Public Assistance grants are awarded by FEMA on a rolling
basis after receiving applications from the state. Earlier this year, the federal government announced it would be reimbursing projects at a rate of 90 percent of the cost, as opposed to the originally planned 50 percent.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said the borough worked to complete these projects and seek reimbursement for them as soon as possible. Belmar rebuilt much of the boardwalk over the winter and cut the ribbon on it May 22, with lighting and playgrounds added shortly thereafter.