Mantoloking Begins Demolishing First of 50 Sandy-Damaged Homes on Land

The cleanup continues for the shore town hit hardest by Sandy.

Fri May 17, 2013 - Northeast Edition

MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) Cranes and bulldozers have joined seagulls and surf as the new sounds of summer in the Jersey shore town that was the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.

Workers have started demolishing the first of 50 storm-damaged homes in Mantoloking, where all 521 houses were either damaged or destroyed in the Oct. 29 storm.

On May 9, crews began tearing down a home that was floating in Barnegat Bay and had come to rest up against the side of the Mantoloking Bridge. By the next morning, a huge crane was scooping the last boards from the water where the house sat for six months.

Demolition then began on homes still on land.

The teardowns mark an important milestone in Mantoloking’s recovery, borough spokesman Chris Nelson said.

“We have 50 homes that will be coming down in the next 45 days,’’ he said. “We hope that will provide a sense of closure for a lot of families, as well as a chance for them to move forward with recovery.’’

The brown wood-shingled house broke loose from its foundation during the storm and wound up in the bay — one of 58 Mantoloking homes to meet that fate. It had sat near where the storm surge cut a new channel from the ocean to the bay, cutting the town in half and necessitating a massive emergency construction plan to repair the damage.

A gray house that sits on land next to where the floating house had been was scheduled to be among the first to be torn down, along with at least two others nearby. That type of work was delayed first by the lack of an air quality monitoring team to check for asbestos particles that might be let loose during the demolition, and later in the week by heavy rains that made the ground too soft for heavy equipment to get close enough to the homes to tear them down.

Mantoloking officials have said that once many of the storm-wrecked homes are torn down and the remains carted away, residents might feel less stressed and more hopeful about the borough’s future.

The borough will be one of the Jersey shore spots that Britain’s Prince Harry will visit during his tour of America. He is scheduled to take a brief walking tour of Barnegat Lane, the street that runs along the borough’s bay front, where many storm-wrecked homes remain.

Today's top stories

Emergency Situation — Spider Excavators Fix 'HeleSlide' Along Critical Highway

Proterra, Komatsu Announce New Collaboration to Develop All-Electric Construction Equipment

Making the Most of Public Budgets: Driving Technology Adoption on Infrastructure Projects

White House Revokes Permit of Pipeline Through Texas

Building to Start in February On New Alabaster, Ala., Police Station

Cianbro, Seven Subcontractors Lead $44.7M Nine Bridge Project in Hampden, Maine

Loop 303 Freeway Widening Project Progressing Forward

Minnich Manufacturing Adds Vanguard Marketing Group