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Demolition begins on Long Beach boardwalk

Long Beach, Long Island on Thursday, January 3, 2012.
January 6, 2013 7:07:38 AM PST
It was a bittersweet day Saturday for people in a Long Island community hit hard by superstorm Sandy.

Demolition began on remnants of the storm-ravaged boardwalk in Long Beach.

Residents say it's unfortunate that the iconic boardwalk has to be torn down, but are encouraged by the rebuilding process.

"It's just a mess, and it's sad and emotional," said resident Christine Haines. "It's going to be back to normal and better, but it's just a sad day".

The demolition should take a month to complete.

City leaders say they hope to have a new boardwalk built by next summer. Construction will cost about $25 million.

No longer able to use their favorite boardwalk, Barbara Herr and Terri Powers still can't believe the damage. Looking down from nearby apartments you can see large sections ripped from concrete pillars by Sandy's surging sea.

"The first day I came down here, I wanted to cry," Herr said.

The storm rendered the 2.2-mile boardwalk unsafe and unviable.

"For safety reasons, we want to demolish the entire boardwalk. It's just not a safe site. We want people to stay away from the boardwalk. We're tearing it all down and we will rebuild stronger, smarter and safer," said communications director Gordon Tepper.

Workers have started the dismantling work and storing the many benches purchased by people as memorials to loved ones. They will be placed back on the new boardwalk.

The old boardwalk was built in 1914.

Some information from The Associated Press.

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM HURRICANE SANDY

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