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Berkeley Island County Park opens for the first time since Sandy

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BERKELEY TOWNSHIP -

Berkeley Island County Park is now open again for the first time since it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

State and local leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning to mark the occasion.

The park once featured fishing and crabbing. The beach has since been replaced by a water park.

“The beach more or less washed away and it wasn't much of a beach to begin with, so that's why we replaced that with the spray park,” says Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett.

Officials say that a number of factors led to it taking nearly six years to complete the new park. They say that most of the entryway to the park was washed away by the storm. There was also a lot of federal “red tape” for the county to deal with. Officials say that the delays were also due to the fact that higher priority was given to making sure residents were back in their homes and that neighborhoods were up and running after Sandy.

“Sandy affected the whole county. The Parks Department is only one part of that, and it could not come first. We had to get the streets back in shape,” Bartlett says.

The repairs and improvements cost about $8 million. 

The park officially reopens Friday. Everything inside the park, including the water park, is free of charge.

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