Demolition and cleanup work is set to begin today along a Jersey Shore boardwalk where a fire destroyed dozens of businesses and did extensive damage to the recently rebuilt boardwalk already hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Seaside Park and Seaside Heights officials have agreed to hire South Toms River-based Eagle Paving Corp. roughly $4.7 million for the work.
The company is operated by the man who also runs FunTown Pier. The amusement pier was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy and lost what was left in the Sept. 12 boardwalk fire.
The demolition will begin near Porter Avenue and is expected to be completed in 60 days or less.
Due to the emergency nature of the cleanup, state officials allowed the towns to skip a closed bidding process and instead allowed them to seek quotes. Two of the four interested firms proposed a lower cost than Eagle Paving, but officials felt the bids were too low for the job to be done well.
The two towns plan to build a temporary dune to protect the shore line in the area where the debris is until new development begins.
Authorities blamed Sandy for damaging electrical wiring that sparked the fire in Seaside.