Some of Atlantic City's most important preparations for the return of the Miss America pageant are underfoot _ the estimated $1.7 million shoring up of the four-mile boardwalk, segments of which were considered not strong enough to hold the estimated crowds.
The Miss America competition is returning to Atlantic City after a six-year absence. Organizers estimate it could draw 200,000 visitors to the seaside resort.
City public works director Paul Jenkins told The Press of Atlantic City that engineers found some parts of the boardwalk couldn't support the additional weight of the crowds plus vehicles that will be used during the pageant parade.
The work has encompassed more than just fixing or replacing boards, Jenkins told the newspaper. In some sections, concrete caps were poured on the piers that hold up the boardwalk and joists were replaced where instability existed. Missing or damaged rails on the boardwalk were replaced at a rate of about 100 to 200 feet per day, he said.
Public works employees were scheduled to reinspect the boardwalk in the days leading up to the parade.
Jenkins said the return of the pageant was a kick-start for boardwalk repairs and that he estimates the equivalent of "years of work'' on the boardwalk was completed in the last three months.
The city also has installed a temporary drainage system in the parade staging area, Jenkins said.