It's about to get noisier on Ocean Avenue in Belmar.
That's the sound of Epic Construction driving 400 pilings a week into the ground, as Belmar pushes forward to have its boardwalk rebuilt in time for Memorial Day.
Gov. Chris Christie and Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty will kick off the next milestone in Belmar's rebuilding at 11 a.m. Jan. 9. at the Fourth Avenue beach.
Doherty announced the next step of the massive project to replace more than a mile of boardwalk destroyed by Hurricane Sandy as part of his 2013 reorganization meeting speech. And Gov. Christie, at his town hall meeting in Belmar, vowed to help make sure Belmar would be open for Memorial Day.
"This is an important milestone in our rebuild," Doherty said to applause. But with the constant construction the residents along Ocean Avenue will find the addition of more crews and equipment, and the evasiveness that comes with living next to a construction site.
"It’s going to get pretty loud on Ocean Ave.," said the mayor.
Pilings will be set simultaneously in the north, center and south of Ocean Avenue, as crews work in three phases.
The crews won't be working north to south or vice versa, because the boardwalk was divided into the three sections. That way, three different phases of crews would be rebuilding that section simultaneously, Doherty said.
Belmar is in an aggressive push to get its boardwalk open in time for Memorial Day. Contractor Epic Construction of Piscataway agreed to assume a $7,500 daily penalty for every day after April 30 the work is not done, and could earn a $100,000 bonus if work is complete before then.
The announcement of the piling works signals the next phase of the boardwalk rebuild, and nearing the end of debris removal and sand sifting.
An estimated 2,800 pilings will be in place in the rebuilt boardwalk, which figures out to approximately seven weeks of piling construction for Belmar.
The contract for Epic Construction was awarded at $6.59 million, less than half the original borough estimated cost.
Information on the architectural documents for the boardwalk can be found here.