ATLANTIC CITY — Mayor Don Guardian officially opened the completed second phase of the Boardwalk reconstruction during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

The phase connects Madison to Melrose avenues, a one-block span that fronts Oscar E. McClinton Jr. Waterfront Park along the Absecon Inlet. The project, which cost $4.1 million, includes a rock seawall and steel bulkhead built parallel to the Boardwalk.

“The rock jetty will protect the Boardwalk (from storms) for another generation,” Guardian said. “We need to make sure we are building for resiliency.”

The work is part of a $50 million project that will extend the Boardwalk from Ventnor to Gardner’s Basin, a job that has been in the planning phase for 24 years, Guardian said.

“This is a project that has been talked about for decades,” the mayor said. “With the cooperation of the federal, state and city agencies, it is quickly becoming a reality.”

The second phase was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state Department of Community Affairs and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who worked on the seawall for 18 months.

Army Corps Philadelphia District Lt. Col. Kristen Dahle said there are 7,200 stones along the wall, each weighing between three and 13 tons.

“If you were to stack these stones up, they’d reach higher than Mount Everest, approximately 32,000 feet,” Dahle said.

The first phase was unveiled in June, when city officials reopened the section from Rhode Island to Oriental avenues.

That project, funded by a $5 million New Jersey Economic Development Authority grant, included handrails, LED lights, new wooden seating and access ramps to the beach.

The third phase is expected to be completed by next summer and will connect the three-block stretch between Oriental Avenue and Grammercy Place.

Under the control of the state Department of Environmental Protection, this development will include a seawall and bulkhead as well as a waterfront walkway connecting Caspian Avenue to Gardner’s Basin.

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609-272-7238 wkeough@pressofac.com

@buzzkeough

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