Contractor to be honored at international CONEXPO-CON/AGG equipment exposition for making a significant difference for the community’s quality of life
Hurricane Sandy wrecked the coast line and quality of life in Lavallette, New Jersey, and Albert Marine Construction put it back together again. When the city engineers had finished surveying the damage two days after the storm, a high priority was reconstructing city’s much used wooden boardwalk.
“The city council prioritized a construction to-do list based on the engineers’ recommendations. Restoring utilities – electricity, water, and gas – were the primary jobs, but number four on the list was the boardwalk” recalls Mayor Walter LaCicero.
This tiny coastal beach town of 3,000 people loved its narrow wooden boardwalk. Only 1.1 miles long, this non-commercial walkway often came within 90 yards of the surf. It had been the heart of social life in Lavallette, but when the Category 2 storm roared through in October 2012, it ripped out 11,600 planks like they were toothpicks.
“The boardwalk had been the lifeblood of our community,” says Clifton Landwehr, whose family has lived in Lavallette for more than 90 years. “Everybody congregated on the boardwalk from first dawn to 11 p.m. You can’t imagine how busy it was. People rode bikes on it in the morning. I walked it every day with my wife. At certain points on the boardwalk, there were gazebos. They were like neighborhood meeting places where you could meet people on your street or where senior citizens held court. The whole thing was like a security blanket. Without it, the town’s whole way of life was cut off.”
Reconstruction Answers Sandy’s Devastation
Albert Marine Construction, a 37-year-old family-owned company in nearby Waretown, New Jersey, won the bid for the $1.3 million reconstruction job in Lavallette. The company understood the community’s attachment to the boardwalk. “The storm had been nerve-racking. People’s losses were devastating, so we were happy to help get the boardwalk up and running before the summer season started,” says the company’s co-owner Vicki Albert.
“People brought our men doughnuts and coffee,” recalls Albert. “The locals always came over to say how hard they thought we were working and that we were doing a great thing for their town.
Jersey Shore Reopens for Business, Project Completed Ahead of Schedule
One of those onlookers during the four-month project was Mayor LaCicero. “I watched them working every day, and every day I was happy to see that massive crane,” he says. “It was a sure sign of recovery and that we were on our way back.”
Albert Marine used a crane to install the boardwalk because its compact size made it resistant to strong sea winds and it maneuverability allowed it to move quickly up and down the shore.
Albert Marine got the job done a week ahead of schedule in early May 2013, leaving time for a gala opening ceremony attended by New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie. “We drove in the first nail on the ceremonial plank, and he hammered down the last one,” Albert notes. Christie called it “the first symbol of New Jersey making sure that everybody knew that the Jersey Shore was open for the summer and ready to receive customers.”
“It’s been fantastic,” says long-time resident Landwehr. Mayor LaCicero says, “All things considered, things are great. Albert Marine did a heckuva job for us.”
For contributions to our quality of life, Albert Marine will be recognized at North America’s largest construction equipment trade show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG. A company representative and one guest will receive a free trip to the show in Las Vegas in March 2014.
At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, they will see all the innovative new equipment that will continue to support their work for better living brought to you by the men and women of the construction industries.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place in North America for the construction industries. The event features exhibits of the latest technologies and innovations in equipment, products and services plus extensive industry-targeted education. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG is March 4-8, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, USA. More than 100,000 attendees are expected. For more information about CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit www.conexpoconagg.com.