Community-wide meeting on rebuilding seaside structure scheduled for Wednesday at City Hall.
More than 2,000 people completed an online survey and some 220 residents and business owners participated in focus group meetings about reconstruction of the Long Beach boardwalk in recent weeks, all of which will culminate at a community-wide public meeting at City Hall on Wednesday. Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.
Amy Engel director of Sustainable Long Island, the Farmingdale-based non-profit organization that is assisting the City of Long Beach with plans to rebuild the seaside walkway, conducted four group meetings
. The meetings invited business owners and residents from all sections of town to offer their input on the boardwalk rebuilding project, after the two-mile wooden structure was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
“It was the community coming together to figure out what is most important to them about the boardwalk, and through the surveys and the focus groups, the residents prioritized those values, and those values will be shared with the city council and the city manager’s office and the engineering firm,” Engel told Patch on Tuesday. “Then all of that is going to taken into consideration when doing a boardwalk design.”
The values the people who participated in the surveys and focus groups ranked most frequently as the top priorities in boardwalk reconstruction were durability and resistance to future storms, Engel said.
Other priorities included protection of the environment, public safety and quality of life, and safety and comfort for runners, cyclists, walkers and other people who exercise, she added.
“In general, people said they really want to preserve the beachfront and that they want access to the boardwalk, they want it to remain free for people and they want it to open as quickly as possible,” Engel continued.
In January, the city hired Liro Engineers
, an engineering firm from Syosset, to help redesign the new boardwalk, and last month work crews demolished the storm-battered wooden boardwalk. These measures are part of a 10-step plan
city officials devised to rebuild the boardwalk possibly by the start of summer. The projected cost of rebuilding the structure is $25 million.
Engel said that the values for a new boardwalk identified through the surveys and focus groups suggest the type of materials that can be used for its reconstruction.
“So ‘durability’ links to strong, hard materials; ‘protecting the environment’ links to green materials; jogging and walking links to flexible materials; bicycling and rollerblading links to smooth materials; and strollers and wheelchairs link to safe materials,” she explained.
City officials ask people to continue to visit the Long Beach Listens website
, where they can continue to take surveys as long as they remain open, and to gain information about the project in the months ahead. “That will be the information hub,” Engel said.
Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at City Hall.
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