BELMAR, NJ–Communities all along the New Jersey shore are working to bid out construction contracts to repair their iconic boardwalks damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Tourism is big business in the Garden State, totaling approximately $38 billion each year. Visitors to communities along the Jersey Shore contribute significantly to the tourism revenue pot. Last month, construction was started to repair Asbury Park’s boardwalks. Belmar has let a $6.6-million contract to repair 1.3 miles of boardwalk there. Seaside Heights is expected to award a boardwalk repair contract tonight.

Government officials along the Jersey Shore are confident conditions will improve before the 2013 summer season begins. “The boardwalk will be back,” said Seaside Heights Councilman Tony Vaz. “It has to be. We have to survive.” See story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.