Peter Haskell/WCBS880 OCEAN GROVE, N.J. (CBSNewYork): 

The final Jersey shore boardwalk damaged by Superstorm Sandy has been reopened.

Gov. Chris Christie was on hand Thursday, helping town officials in Ocean Grove reopen the boardwalk for the first time since the October 2012 storm.
It was 613 days ago that Hurricane Sandy demolished and wreaked havoc on the Jersey shore, said Dale Whilden, president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. It has been a long road. We in Ocean Grove have been counting those days.

Congressman Chris Smith said getting the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency wasnt easy.
There was an initial decision of a denial followed by an appeal denial, Smith said.

Christie said this was the last and most challenging boardwalk to get fixed.
It took the most jumping up and down and the most yelling and screaming and thats what they brought me in for, Christie said.
Whilden was appreciative, saying that if it wasnt for FEMA and their $2.4 million grant none of us would be here today.

Christie sees the reopening of the boardwalk as a big step forward.
To be able to have this as the start of our 4th of July weekend is really a cap on another stage, not the completion, but another stage of our recovery, the governor said.