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Long Beach celebrates opening of brand new boardwalk

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LONG BEACH, LONG ISLAND (PIX11) – It’s been a while since we’ve had a moment to listen to birds chirp or watch a speed boat glide by.

As we look back on the past nine months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged Long Beach, images of the seaside community under water stick out in our minds.

But in recent months these images transformed, along with the City of Long Beach, as residents banded together to fix what was once destroyed.

During a ceremony on Friday, Senator Chuck Schumer high fived residents before he announced a major mile-stone: the re-opening of one section of the long beach boardwalk a $2.7 million endeavor.

“If there were ever any doubts that long beach and the south shore are back, today those doubts have been put to rest. We have a beautiful new boardwalk, better than ever,” Schumer said.

Better than ever, as the new boardwalk is made of Brazilian hardwoods and concrete.

The old boardwalk was made of yellow pine. The biggest difference? This new one will last 30 to 40 years, regardless of any future storms.

Only four blocks of boardwalk are back up so far. Overall,  this project is expected to span over two miles and cost over $40 million when all construction is complete.

But even with current short walkway, those who live here say this weekend is symbolic of Long Island’s strength and resilience.

“I’m a survivor, my house was destroyed, but it feels like everything is back and I see the energy back in the town. Just seeing this spot, it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen,” said resident Ralph Preudhomme.

The city says the entire boardwalk will be re-built by early November.