East Lyme Board of Selectmen last night approved an insurance settlement agreement of $1.7 million to cover the cost of storm damage to the Niantic Boardwalk. This isn't a settlement resulting from Superstorm Sandy, however, but from Tropical Storm Irene. First Selectman Paul Formica said the insurance adjusters are still working on Superstorm Sandy damages.
This money, combined with the $1.4 million the town received as a result of a lawsuit filed against the designers of the original boardwalk in 2005, has put the town in prime position to make the repairs—really, at this point, to totally rebuild the boardwalk in a way that will enable it to withstand a 65- or 90-year storm.
The town is expecting FEMA funds will offset some of the additional costs of rebuilding the boardwalk. There's a $10,000 deductible attached to the Irene claim, for instance, that the federal government will cover.
Formica said that Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2nd District) is also working to secure federal emergency funds to help pay for repairs that Amtrak needs to make to the revetment (the stone embankment that shores up the bank to the tracks) that was severely damaged by Sandy.
Formica, Courtney, and Amtrak representatives recently walked the site to survey the damage with a view to coordinating the work needed to secure the tracks and rebuild the boardwalk before another major storm hits. Formica said he hopes that the town will realize cost savings by working in conjunction with Amtrak to rebuild the town's side of the boardwalk.
The new design the town has in mind will more closely resemble Amtrak's side of the boardwalk. As it was built to withstand a 100 year storm, that section of the boardwalk remained intact after Sandy's assault.