PICTURED ABOVE – Coaster file photo of the Asbury boardwalk south of Convention Hall from the beach. The section has been undergoing repairs for the last few months.
By DON STINE
Asbury Park’s iconic boardwalk is nearly fully repaired and may even open this weekend, according to a city official.
City Manager Jack Kelly said he visited the boardwalk early Tues., May 6 and reports “it looks fabulous.”
“It looks like it is almost completed, right up to Convention Hall. They were also installing railing and other accessories. There doesn’t seem to be much structural work left to do- they were trimming the edges and buttoning up the loose ends,” he said.
Kelly said that, if the weather is nice, the section of the boardwalk closed between Convention Hall and Fourth Avenue could be open this weekend and, if not, then very soon afterward.
Kay Harris, who owns the Asbury Galleria in Convention Hall’s Grand Arcade, said she is looking forward to the reopening.
“It’s definitely coming along. It’s hard to imagine it’s ready but, after looking at it this past week, they have made a lot of progress and I think it will be open before Memorial Day weekend,” she said.
Harris said closing the boardwalk did have some negative impact on her business but, fortunately, it is the off-season anyway.
“I can’t say the impact was drastic- it is still early in the season,” she said.
She said she did decide to open only on weekends recently whereas, if the boardwalk was open, she would have opened five days a week.
“But people seemed to be able to navigate their way into Convention Hall and now I am looking forward to a very good season,” she said.
City Councilman John Loffredo, who is on the city’s parking committee, said things “look good” for the parking situation this Memorial Day weekend. The city took in more than $2 million in parking revenue last year.
“I am hopeful we can repaint the space numbers by the time the holiday weekend rolls around because some are not clearly visible,” he said.
Loffredo said that the city is finalizing an agreement with the parking meter company to service all of the meters to be sure they work properly and that the state-owned parking garage downtown, at the intersection of Bangs Avenue and Emory Street, will also be open on weekends.
The garage has more than 200 parking spaces that will be available to the public on Fridays after 6 p.m. and on weekends. Plans calls for parking meters to eventually be installed in the garage.
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