Feb 232013

The Jersey Shore is coming back.  After taking a pounding from Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Shore’s barrier islands and beach towns have been quickly reopening year-round businesses and are pulling out all the stops to make sure the boardwalks, arcades, rides, and beaches are ready to welcome visitors for Summer 2013.  Here’s a quick run down of how some of our favorite haunts are doing with the recovery effort.

The rides are returning to Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

The rides are returning to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, in Point Pleasant Beach has already reopened the aquarium,  as well as some of the arcades, bars, restaurants and shops.  The $2 million boardwalk repair effort is under construction and is expected to be ready for summer.  The rides, many of which had been taken off the boardwalk for winter storage prior to the storm, are already being installed and tested.  The beach, even in winter, still looks amazing.

New pilings for Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ are in place

New pilings for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ are in place

Seaside Heights has begun the first stage of an $6+ million project (funded in part by the MTV Restore the Shore fundraiser) to rebuild its mile long boardwalk and amusement piers while adding a seawall under the boardwalk to protect the town from future storms.  In the next few weeks, the owners of Casino Pier will begin the process of removing the Jet Star roller coaster from the Atlantic Ocean, where it has sat since it and three other amusement rides went off the end of the 630-foot long pier when part of it collapsed.  The boardwalk and beach and at least some of the rides and arcades should be ready for summer.

Belmar broke ground in early January on a $6.6 million project to replace its 1.3 mile boardwalk in time for Memorial Day.  Asbury Park and Avon are both about to begin their own boardwalk restoration processes although many of Asbury’s boardwalk restaurants and stores have been open during the winter using street-side entrances.  Atlantic City, which experienced flooding but missed the worst of the storm, has been back in business for some time.

The beach at Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach looks great on a winter's day

The beach at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach looks great on a winter’s day

The road back to pre-Sandy conditions will take several years for the hardest hit communities.  In Mantoloking, where just about every one of the 500 homes in town sustained some level of damage, residents were just permitted to return in early February.   Towns like Union Beach and Sea Bright are also struggling with extensive damage to schools, homes and infrastructure.

If you are working on planning summer family vacations, make sure the Jersey Shore is on your list, the beaches, boardwalks, arcades, restaurants and shops are looking forward to seeing you in summer 2013.

Photos courtesy Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

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