BELMAR - Belmar promised its famed boardwalk would be up by Memorial Day weekend, but it could be even sooner.

"Belmar's had a boardwalk since 1875," says Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. "This year will be no different."

Pilings are going down 20 feet. The old pilings went down by only 6 feet, making the new boardwalk stronger than the old one. With the help of pile drivers, workers have been laying down 120 pilons a day.

The new decking is a shade of "spiced rum", a departure from the old, gray decking.

Local businesses will be back by summertime. Belmar will allow shop owners to operate out of trailers until permanent pavilions are built.