Spring Lake boardwalk, one of the nicest on the shore for a quiet, lovely stroll, was almost completely demolished by Hurricane Irene. With the Atlantic Ocean attacking from the east, and Wreck Pond, the border between Spring Lake Heights and Spring Lake overflowing from the west, the boardwalk didn't have much of a chance. Parts of the boardwalk is twisted, there are lots of loose boards, and and some of the sections, especially in front of the Essex and Sussex Condos, were sucked out to sea. All the joggers, walkers and bikers who made the board walk part of their daily routine were devastated at the site. You see, the Spring Lake Boardwalk is pretty special, since there is not the plethora of businesses lining it on both sides. Just the ocean on one side and an stately mansions on the other. Nothing is more peaceful than a stroll or a ride on this tranquil stretch of the Jersey Shore in the early morning haze.
One of the saddest points is that this boardwalk is fairly new, unlike most of the boardwalks on the Shore, having been rebuilt in 2008. It was built of a rot resistant and easy to care for synthetic material called Trex, and was hailed at the time of its construction as a model of an environmentally friendly boardwalk for not using tropical hardwoods, nor chemicals to fight wood rot. But the most modern of materials cannot withstand the force of Mother Nature, and this short burst of wind and water was enough to leave a lot of destruction in its wake. Some people believe the whole thing was over in about twenty minutes. The boardwalk, no matter how strongly it was built, was no match for Sandy.
Beautiful views from a beautiful boardwalk
Casual strollers love the peaceful ambiance of the Spring Lake Boardwalk, where, instead of the shops, arcades and food stands that line most boardwalks, a walker sees pure ocean on one side and beautiful late 19th century mansions on the other. It is especially popular among runners, and both the Spring Lake Five and the Jersey Shore Marathon feature it predominantly.
The indomitable spirit of the Jersey Shore, Irish stubbornness and Yankee ingenuity, however, means that the boardwalk will probably be rebuilt and operational very soon. The town is determined to rebuild, and some of the less damaged parts may be opened very quickly, if they pass inspection.
Even the B&B's that sustained a little damage may benefit from the storm, since after event gawking is practically a national pastime. Many people may be visiting Spring Lake in the fall, not just for the crisp, cool air, but also to witness the boardwalk, rising like a phoenix from its ashes.
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