Demolition of Long Beach boardwalk begins - FOX 35 News Orlando

Demolition of Long Beach boardwalk begins

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Hundreds of Long Beach residents said goodbye to the iconic landmark that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. 

Bulldozers began the process of demolishing the remains of the Long Beach boardwalk on Saturday. The dismantling of the two-mile stretch of boardwalk will take about a month.

"Today is a major, major step in our recovery moving forward," said City Councilman Scot Mandel." 

Today is the kind of crowd you would see during the summer down in Long Beach, but on this day, hundreds gathered to say goodbye to an old friend.

"All of my favorite memories from childhood are in Long Beach," said one sad resident. 

"Very, very sad day," added another resident. "As a child you played underneath it, as a teenager you gathered with your friends and as an adult you went here for peace." 

The boardwalk was built in 1914. 

Councilman Mandel called it the "heart and soul" of the city. 

"It's so much more than the sum of its parts. It's more than just nails, lumber, benches and rails."

"When I heard it was being torn down, I certainly started to cry," said one nostalgic resident. 

From morning jogs to lifeguard gigs – to surfing and hanging with friends, the boardwalk quickly became a deep part of resident's lives. 

"This is practically your second home on the beach and to see it torn down along with the travesty behind us with all the homes, it's a sad thing," said another resident. 

Sad to leave all of these memories behind and start anew.  

"Long Beach will emerge from the rubble smarter, safer and stronger with a boardwalk to match and we and our future generations will build new memories upon," said councilman Mandel speaking to the large Long Beach crowd.

Residents agree that the boardwalk must be built stronger and more durable this time around and city officials hope the new boardwalk will be ready for the summer. 

The estimated cost of rebuilding the boardwalk will be $25 million.   

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