Img_4565The on-surface boardwalk, at lower left, will connect with a stretch to run parallel to the ocean.


Tenderfooted beachgoers will appreciate this: Sea Bright plans to extend its modest boardwalk, bringing salvation that much closer to sunbathers who dread the trek across scalding summer sands at the end of the day.

It turns out the borough has about $6,000 left over from from a six-year-old federal grant. It further seems that the deadline for spending it is nearing. Unspent, the money reverts to the Monmouth County Planning Board.

Pushing the idea to use the money for a second, portable, wheelchair-approved walkway on the beach is Councilman William ‘Jack’ Keeler. He told the council earlier this week that the existing stretch has gotten rave reviews from beachgoers.

That walkway, which lies directly on the sand, resembles a wooden boardwalk and measures between six and eight feet in width — wide enough for a wheelchair user to travel from the beach entrance at the bandstand almost down to the water itself, says borough engineer David Hoder.

The proposed section would be about as wide and is expected to run along a portion of the beachfront, he says. It can be relocated, if necessary.

The planned new section is not to be confused with the boardwalk that officials have included in the borough’s evolving Smart Growth proposal. That revitalization plan, designed to upgrade the borough’s public facilities, downtown and beachfront, calls for a traditional elevated boardwalk to run from Donovan’s Reef north to the Chapel Beach Club.

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