One last time: Swimmers taking final jumps from old Sandwich Boardwalk before reconstruction
Adults and children alike made their way to the Sandwich Boardwalk this week to plunge into the cool water from the footbridge over Mill Creek, possibly for the last time before the old boardwalk is torn down.
Construction to replace it has already started, and public access is slated to be shut down next week.
David Whynot, who owns a market in Sandwich, headed down to the boardwalk Tuesday with some friends.
“It's just that little bit of childhood excitement and fun, and just kind of silly innocence,” he said.
A group of children around 10 to 12 years old made a game out of shouting the name of their favorite candy as they jumped. Some swam with friends, others with a parent.
One family said they try to make a jump from the Sandwich Boardwalk every month of the year.
Sandwich resident Jonathan Kirby said he doesn’t like to jump in the cold, but he knows it’s a New Year’s Day tradition for some. He jumps while his mother swims in the creek.
“My dad comes here, too. It’s like a summer tradition,” he said.
The design of the new boardwalk has been a point of contention in town.
The new structure will be wider and more accessible, but it will also be several feet higher to handle sea level rise and storms. It will have railings along much of its length, instead just at the footbridge.
Some residents were shocked to see the initial plan, said Candy Thomson, a member of the steering committee of the Friends of the Sandwich Boardwalk.
“People who were at Town Hall the night that was unveiled, you could hear them gasp, because it looked like the Zakim Bridge in the middle of a marsh,” she said.
Since then, the town has made some changes to the plan in response to public comments.
The old boardwalk should be open for swimmers at least through Monday, though temperatures won’t be as warm this weekend as they were during the week.
The new boardwalk is scheduled to be completed next summer.