Wednesday, January 24, 2024

North Wildwood Boardwalk reconstruction project planned to begin in Fall 2024

While the ongoing battle to protect North Wildwood’s coastline continues to dominate the local headlines, the city is working on a number of notable improvement projects this winter.

These include the first phase of the Gold Star Memorial & Gateway Enhancement along Spruce Avenue, NJDOT’s back bay dredging work and the New Jersey Avenue Reconstruction/Road Diet Project - all of which are expected to be completed by late spring or early summer.

Meanwhile, plans are being finalized for the reconstruction of North Wildwood’s end of the Boardwalk, with work anticipated to begin this Fall.

Around this time last year, Mayor Patrick Rosenello outlined plans for the extensive rehab, with hopes that the project would commence after the 2023 season. That was not to be, but with the majority of funding now in place, the biggest hurdles have been cleared.

“We’re set for the first phase of the reconstruction, after the upcoming summer and events season,” said Rosenello. “This will cover the stretch from the start of the Boardwalk at 16th Street to, depending on how the bids come in, somewhere between 18th and 19th.

“From there, we hope to be able to complete two to three blocks every ensuing winter, as we work our way down to 26th Street. This will be a total and complete reconstruction. The Boardwalk will be torn down to the sand and a structure with brand new materials will take its place.”

Rosenello reiterated that work will begin on the north end due to years of cumulative damage to the promenade’s superstructure caused by the ocean coming up under the Boardwalk during the 1960’s and 70’s. 

“That’s definitely the area that is in the most need of rehab,” he said, noting that the oldest boards along the stretch are likely close to 100 years old. “As we proceed, we will monitor other any smaller areas that may require immediate attention.”

The cost for Phase 1 is estimated at $3.5 million, with the total cost of the full 10-block reconstruction estimated at $34 million. 

Thus far, North Wildwood has received grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the NJ Urban Enterprise Zone to help fund the project. The city has also applied for a PROTECT Grant with the U.S. Department of Transportation and assistance from the Boardwalk Preservation Fund with the NJ Department of Community Affairs, but has not received word back on either potential award at this time.

In the coming months, the city will be constructing a new ADA accessible Boardwalk ramp on the beach side of 22nd Avenue, just north of Seaport Pier. An NJ DCA Small Cities Grant will cover the majority of the cost of the ramp, which is expected to be in place by Summer 2024.

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