Seaside boardwalk fire cleanup continues to rapidly advance

     The Sawmill Cafe, the southernmost building on the Seaside boardwalk, is now clearly visible from the trench that was dug at Lincoln Avenue to stop the fire from advancing northward. The numerous buildings that once blocked a clear view to the south have been demolished. JSHN contributor Kevin Michelson snapped this image at sunset on October 21, 2013.

    The Sawmill Cafe, the southernmost building on the Seaside boardwalk, is now clearly visible from the trench that was dug at Lincoln Avenue to stop the fire from advancing northward. The numerous buildings that once blocked a clear view to the south have been demolished. JSHN contributor Kevin Michelson snapped this image at sunset on October 21, 2013.

    Crews continue to make significant progress cleaning up following last month’s massive, wind-whipped fire on the Seaside boardwalk.

    Armed with heavy machinery, workers are rapidly clearing the charred remnants of buildings and other debris from the four block area stretching from Seaside Park to Seaside Heights. The contract for the demolition and cleanup, which began on October 7, requires competition within 60 days. 

    But workers are well ahead of schedule.

    Late last week, Seaside Heights Business Administrator John Camera told NBC Philadelphia that the job has “gone along great,” saying that work was 35 to 40 percent done. Earlier the same week, Michael Loundy, a Seaside Heights official, told the Associated Press that about 15 percent of the project was completed.

    Jersey Shore Hurricane News contributor Kevin Michelson reports that as of Monday, all buildings have been demolished. 

    “Cleanup is all that remains,” he says.

    The only structures to remain within the fire zone include the Sawmill Cafe, Stevie D’s Arcade, and the Beachcomber Bar and Grill.

    Seaside Park and Seaside Heights officials hired South Toms River-based Eagle Paving Corp to complete the project. The company will receive roughly $4.7 million for the work.

    The state’s Economic Development Authority has set aside $15 million from programs offered to help in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy to assist the fire-impacted business owners. The money will not affect the funding earmarked for residents recovering from the superstorm.

    The fire has been blamed on the failure of electrical wiring impacted by Superstorm Sandy floodwaters.

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