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Construction begins on Long Beach boardwalk destroyed by Sandy

LONG ISLAND (PIX11)- It was like summer in April for the people of Long Beach, Long Island.

Six months after the wrath of Sandy, there was something to celebrate.

They saw that the destroyed centerpiece and soul of their city will indeed rise again.

The groundbreaking for the new two point two mile boardwalk unearthed memories of good times on the original one.

“One New Year’s Eve with our friends we went out on the boardwalk with a bottle of champagne and we rang in the New Year,” said Long Beach resident Hillel Kresner.

As resilient as this community is, Saturday was also a reminder of a very painful recovery.

The city has been working with FEMA and state agencies to fund the 44 million dollar project.

Senator chuck Schumer helped bring in federal money, “The first check of money is coming through.  That’s going to mean something for the boardwalk.  It’s going to mean they don’t have to rebuild it as it is.  We’re going to fight to get that special hardwood so that storms can’t destroy it.  We’re going to fight for a barrier so storms cant destroy it.”

Memorial day weekend will be beach ready, but a stroll along the stretch of wooden planks will have to wait.

The boardwalk will open sections at a time.

Twenty percent of it is expected to be completed by mid-July.

That’s about a half mile that will be available to the public to enjoy.