In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy inflicted severe damage upon the decking, superstructure, access ramps, and lighting along Long Beach’s historic 2.2-mile boardwalk. The City of Long Beach initiated a restoration program immediately following the storm. LiRo was chosen to assist with an assessment of the boardwalk substructure (concrete pier bents) and the reconstruction of a more resilient structure.
About the Project
LiRo performed a detailed fast-track damage assessment, developed alternative repair strategies, and prepared construction documents for the replacement of the boardwalk superstructure (framing and decking). The restoration project consisted of four key phases:
- Assessing the damage.
- Delivering a scope of improvements.
- Designing and engineering a restoration plan.
- Managing and inspecting construction activities.
The scope included replacing all wood support framing and decking as well as providing new railing systems and lighting fixtures for the boardwalk and access ramps from the streets to the beach. LiRo collaborated closely with the City of Long Beach to develop these alternatives and solicit feedback from the community, which was used to shape the final scope of the work. Community outreach remained an important component of the process as well as coordination with utilities in order to minimize disruptions in service to the residents and expedite construction activities. LiRo quickly finalized contract documents for a boardwalk system consisting of both concrete plank and hardwood decking, resulting in a stronger, safer, and more resilient structure that is better suited to withstand future weather events.
Project Challenges & Solutions
The City of Long Beach established an aggressive goal of opening the boardwalk to the public as quickly as possible in order to maintain the summer season. As construction progressed—with LiRo managing the process—each completed section of the boardwalk was opened so Long Beach residents could enjoy some use of the boardwalk during the summer months. LiRo worked with fabricators during design and pre-construction to implement a unique system of precast panelized superstructure. Protecting the boardwalk against future storm damage also was a concern, so several resiliency features were incorporated into the new design.
With LiRo guiding and inspecting the construction, the framing, decking, railing and lighting work proceeded at an accelerated pace. After a year-long coordinated effort by LiRo’s engineering team, contractor Grace Industries LLC, and city officials, the reconstructed boardwalk officially opened to the public on Oct. 25, 2013, in an exuberant ceremony attended by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Sen. Charles Schumer, then-Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Long Beach officials, and hundreds of local residents. The overall sentiment was effectively summarized by Schumer, who said: “The boardwalk—the great symbol of Long Beach—is back again. Bigger. Better. Stronger. And more storm-resilient than ever.”