With pilings work more than half done, the reconstruction of Belmar's boardwalk is currently ahead of schedule, Mayor Matt Doherty said.
It's been a month since Belmar broke ground on completely rebuilding its boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy washed it away Oct. 29. Local officials joined Gov. Chris Christie to celebrate the first pilings and vowed to have the boardwalk open by Memorial Day.
If the current pace continues, the April 30 benchmark the borough set to have work complete will likely be met, officials said.
Crews are working so efficiently, Doherty said, they are using up the day's worth of pilings before the work day is over.
The pilings work is subcontracted and Epic Construction is figuring out how to deliver more pilings to the beachfront so even more of that work can progress in a day's time, Doherty said.
"They are running out of pilings, to keep the contractor ‘well fed’ with pilings to keep working," Doherty said.
With crews laying the strapping, girders down and other subdecking components installed after the pilings are pounded 20 feet into the ground, the boards will come shortly after, said the mayor.
"Our pilings are past 12th Avenue and going south. Another nine blocks to go. In over three weeks, they are making tremendous progress," said Doherty last week. The project broke ground Jan. 9.
Girders are already installed through 11th Avenue, and the "Spiced Rum" colored, synthetic wood decking ordered and delivered.
The borough approved a $6.59 million contract to rebuild the boardwalk as it was, but with increased hurricane protection.
A contract for the total construction has a bonus built in if Epic Construction has the work complete before April 30, and the company would be fined daily if late. Epic Construction, of Piscataway, also faces a $7,500 daily penalty for every day after April 30 the work is not done, according to the contract.