Official: Ocean Grove fire cleanup won’t be done by Memorial Day

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It has been nearly two weeks since a fire destroyed the Dunes Boardwalk Café in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune Township and town officials and the owners are trying to figure out the best way to clean up the rubble.

Ocean Grove officials say that the biggest challenge will be getting machinery across the boardwalk.

“We anticipate that once we get started it will be a 4- to 6-week project before it’s complete,” says Neptune Township business administrator Vito Gadaleta.

Gadaleta says that the machinery needed to help clean up the site is too heavy for the boardwalk so the town is looking for options.

RELATED: Officials: Dunes Boardwalk Cafe in Ocean Grove destroyed in 5-alarm fire 

“An access that the Camp Meeting Association has about 1,000 feet south of us where there’s a concrete pad rather than a boardwalk could be utilized by their equipment to move the material,” he says.

Crews will use giant dumpsters to minimize the number of trips they will need to take over the pedestrian walkway.

But Gadaleta says that unfortunately, it looks like the cleanup won’t be done in time for the unofficial start of summer.

“I don't believe that realistically it'll be completely cleaned up by Memorial Day but hopefully we will have a good portion of it underway and be removed by that time,” he says.

No injuries were reported during the April 13 fire. The cause remains under investigation.

Town officials say that so far there have been no discussions as to if the pavilion will be rebuilt.

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