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Lavallette to Add Another Accessible Beach This Season

A beach entrance with Mobi-Mats in Seaside Park, March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

A beach entrance with Mobi-Mats in Seaside Park, March 2024. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Lavallette beachgoers who need a bit of an easier time getting on the sand this summer will have another option thanks to grant funding.

Council President Anita Zalom, at Monday’s borough council meeting, said the borough will acquire an additional “Mobi-Mat” for New York Avenue, one of the widest streets in town that is often utilized as an accessible beach by those with disabilities or who need the assistance of a wheelchair. The new “Mobi-Mats,” which are made up of material that generate traction and make it easier to walk – or ride – over sand, are costly and can rise to $60,000 to outfit one street.

The borough’s Public Works Department, whose personnel take care of the mats and work with the public to use them, had significant input on what would work best for the local beaches.

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“They didn’t like the one we picked, and they picked the size they thought was best,” said Zalom.

The mats will run from the boardwalk to the start of the beach berm – the soft sand on the east side of the dune where beachgoers set up their chairs and blankets.

In addition to the Mobi-Mats, Zalom said she has obtained a separate $5,000 grant for “Matrax” blocks, essentially surface material that bridges the gap between the mats and the sand, which help prevent wheelchairs from becoming stuck at the drop to the beach. The grant was presented by the Best Day Foundation, an organization that most commonly specializes in helping children with special needs.

With the new mats, Lavallette will have two fully accessible beaches at New York and President avenues. Ideally, officials said, they would like to see the mats installed at all beach entrances, however the cost would be significant.

“We have 28 entrances and it’s very expensive,” said Zalom. “It’s almost $60,000 just to put in [one] mat. I’d like to have one on every beach, but they cost a lot of money.”

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