East Lyme Rebuilds Storm-Ravaged Boardwalk - NBC Connecticut

East Lyme Rebuilds Storm-Ravaged Boardwalk



    Reconstruction of the western half of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk has started. (Published Friday, Aug. 1, 2014)

    The town of East Lyme is working to rebuild the storm-ravaged boardwalk at Hole-in-the-Wall Beach so locals and out-of-towners alike can once again soak up the sun.

    "Superstorm Irene softened it up, Sandy took care of the rest," said East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica.

    After Superstorm Sandy tore through in 2012, it ruined the Niantic Bay Boardwalk, leaving rocks and rubble behind.

    "I think it was a big loss for the community, accessing downtown, and recreation and access to the beach," said Niantic resident Christine Naktenis.

    Tens of thousands of people flocked to the boardwalk every year, crowding the beach and giving downtown businesses a boost.

    Now, thanks to funding from insurance and FEMA, the town can build up what was brought down.

    "We want to make sure this one is up to 100 year storm protection," said Formica. "And even though we've had a few 100-year storms in the last few years, we don't think that's going to continue, so we want a good long time and make sure we don't have to do this again."

    Preliminary work on the estimated $4.4 million dollar project is underway, and in the next few weeks the work will move over to the boardwalk.

    Town officials hope it will be ready for foot traffic at the latest by the spring of 2015.

    With additional amenities planned for the area, the town hopes to attract more visitors than ever before.