LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents of Long Beach, Long Island, on Saturday were given a final chance to say goodbye to the landmark boardwalk before demolition began.

Superstorm Sandy caused so much damage to the boardwalk that there was no choice but to dismantle it entirely.

Before demolition of the 2.2-mile boardwalk began Saturday, a ceremony was held for the public.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, the ceremony was a time to recall fond memories of an old friend – a description apropos for those who grew up around the Long Beach boardwalk.

Amy Cannon said she used to tell her parents she was sleeping at a friend’s house when she was a teenager, but that was a fib.

“We used to sleep under the boardwalk – like about 5 or 6 of us, and then we would find somebody who’s playing guitar on the beach,” she said.

Many residents had a hard time saying goodbye, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported.

“I like the boardwalk,” said one resident, Mike Allen. “I used to go up there for jazz concerts, carnivals long beach have every year.”

The boardwalk was constructed in 1908 by William Reynolds. The demolition is expected to take about a month.

But this does not mean there will be no boardwalk at all in the future. Long Beach officials expect to have a new and stronger 2.2 mile boardwalk by summer.

Allen said he was looking forward to the new boardwalk.

“It’ll be a great thing for long beach to have a boardwalk,” he said.

The demolition is expected to cost $1.5 million, while new boardwalk is expected to cost $25 million.

Do you think efforts should have been made to preserve the boardwalk? Leave your comments below…


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