Annmarie Fertoli, Associate Producer, WNYC News
Annmarie Fertoli is an Associate Producer at WNYC, working with the afternoon news team to produce All Things Considered.
The city of Long Beach, Long Island is collecting opinions from residents and visitors, as it moves forward with plans to rebuild its boardwalk. Officials say they’re hoping to replace at least part of the more than two-mile boardwalk, which was heavily damaged by Sandy, in time for the summer season.
“The boardwalk itself has always been the heart of Long Beach,” said City Council President Scott Mandel. “It’s something that draws people to our city, it’s something that people come to year round, summer and even during the winter months. It’s really just one of the more known landmarks on the South Shore.”
With the help of the group Sustainable Long Island, the city has held several focus group meetings, and is administering a survey, asking residents how they use the boardwalk, and how they’d like to see it rebuilt. Mandel said it’s an opportunity to explore many options that could modernize the boardwalk, and make it more durable in the face of other storms.
“Specifics range from people wanting wood, to people interested in exploring the idea of concrete or a combination of both, or some type of synthetic material like plastic in place of wood,” Mandel said.
Long Beach's boardwalk was damaged during Sandy. Officials hope to replace part of it by the summer. Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC
Rebuilding the boardwalk is also important for the city’s vitality.
“The boardwalk is the main economic driver for the city of Long Beach,” said Amy Engel, executive director of Sustainable Long Island. “During the summer they get an average of 11,000 to 13,000 visitors per weekend. So to not have a boardwalk for the summer months would be very detrimental to the city.”
Residents and visitors can take the online survey at LongBeachListens.com, until Tuesday. The results of the information gathering will be presented on Wednesday.