Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state will cover the remaining $9.3 million in cost to rebuild the Long Beach boardwalk that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not reimburse the City of Long Beach for the $44 million project.
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Cuomo made the announcement on the boardwalk at Long Beach Boulevard, where he and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer ceremoniously drove screws into the final hardwood board to complete the reconstruction of the 2.2-mile walkway.
"New York State promised to help communities rebuild after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy and we are proud to step up to the plate and provide critical support for this project and close the shortfall in FEMA funding,” Cuomo said.
The state funds will come from NY Works, the governor's infrastructure program that rebuilds roads, bridges, and parks throughout the state.
The 2.2 mile walkway was heavily damaged during Hurricane Sandy last year, and Grace Industries, a Planview engineering firm, was hired by the city to rebuild the structure using Brazilian tropical hardwood decking and a wave wall, the only items the costs of which FEMA declined to reimburse, Cuomo said.
Grace Industries was contracted to complete the project by November. The governor’s office said that the total cost of the rebuild is $42 million. The city and Grace Industries had added $2 million to their contract to cover unforeseen costs, Jim LaCarrubba, the city’s public works commissioner, said at the time the contract was signed.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said in a statement about Friday’s announcement: “Today is a great day for our community with the reopening of a stronger, fully restored boardwalk. Since the Sandy floodwaters hit our communities, the state and Governor Cuomo have been here helping bring resources and guide relief efforts. The restored Long Beach boardwalk represents how far we have come since the storm and I thank the Governor for his continued leadership in helping our community rebuild stronger than before.”