Thursday, January 5, 2023

North Wildwood aiming to begin Boardwalk rehab after 2023 season

Phase 2 of the
Wildwood Boardwalk Rehabilitation Project is in full swing, with work on the five-block stretch from Maple Avenue to 26th Avenue scheduled to be completed by May.

When finished, the entire central portion of the Boardwalk will have been refurbished with new boards and structural enhancements, including the removal of concrete pathways previously used to support the Sightseer Tram Cars.

Since work began on Phase 1 (Oak to Maple) in late 2021, there has been speculation about potential future work on the rest of the wooden way, including the North Wildwood portion, which covers 10 blocks, from (north to south) 16th to 26 Avenue.

“Yes, there are plans in place for Boardwalk rehab on our side of 26th Street, ideally beginning after the 2023 season,” North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello told Wildwood 365. “Our plan is actually to start from the 16th Street end and work south, for an interesting reason. 

“The north end of our boardwalk is in worse condition than the south end because, historically, back in the 60’s and 70’s, that area was subject to tidal waters on a daily basis. The ocean used to come up under there, so that part is in most need of replacement.”

While the City of Wildwood’s boardwalk work has been funded by a total of $11.2 million in state and federal grants, Rosenello said that North Wildwood was recently notified of a federal economic development authority grant that will help fund the project.

“There are still a lot of details to figure out because final funding isn’t all in place yet, but I’m confident that this will move forward,” he explained. “I would expect we’ll take an approach similar to that of Wildwood’s, in terms of materials and work on the boardwalk’s superstructure.

“This will be a long time coming. I believe the oldest sections of our boardwalk date back to the 1920’s, so you’re looking at a structure that’s close to or slightly more than a century old.”

Though plans are still a ways off from being finalized, Rosenello anticipates a “multi-year process” that will see two to three blocks completed each offseason, at least to start.

“We’re looking at probably doing two blocks next winter,” he said. “Steady progress is what we’re shooting for. So, we would start with 16th to 18th Street, from the entrance arch down past Montego Bay [Resort]. Two blocks might not seem like a lot, but that’s actually a pretty big stretch when you look at it that way.”

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