Absecon is working to repair its areas prone to flooding and add more recreation to its waterways at the same time.
The city, which was awarded a grant earlier this year to stop flooding near New Jersey Avenue and Highland Boulevard, is also working to secure funding on two other projects near Absecon Creek that would protect against flooding, but would also allow more people to use the city’s waterfront areas.
The city received a grant in April from Federal Emergency Management Agency to fix flooding issues on New Jersey Avenue and officials are working with the county, which has a 25 percent matching requirement for the grant, before they can begin work on the $900,000 project. City Administrator Terry Dolan said he’s hopeful the project can be completed next year.
The city is also discussing two applications before FEMA to secure from flooding other areas that are used by city residents for recreation.
There are plans for a $580,000 project, for an area on East Faunce Landing Road at Absecon Creek, to add a parking lot, fix the walkway and build a “living shore line” or a natural bulkhead on the shore made with stone and vegetation, said city Engineer Ed Dennis. The spot can also be used as a boat ramp, he said.
The area is often visited by people who take walks and fish, City Council President Gerald Falivene said. It also connects to the city’s old swimming hole at the creek and Turner Avenue through a walkway.
There is another grant application at that site for a $450,000 project to add parking, dig up old concrete and replace the old dam with a pier, Dennis said.
The city hopes to hear a decision on these grants in about six months, Dolan said.
Falivene said the city began planning for these grants two years ago. The areas are popular for walking and fishing, but Falivene said they wanted to secure grants instead of bonding for these projects.
“We didn’t want to use taxpayer money for something that size,” he said.
Mayor-elect John Armstrong said the city is fortunate to be a Mainland community that has a body of water and should take advantage of it. If the area is restored, the city could plan events and outings at the site, he said.
Armstrong is also working to address some other roadways in the city that often flood. Mitchell said he plans to work with the county and state to address flooding on Shore, New and Mill roads and Ohio Avenue. The roads all usually close a few times every year due to flooding and Armstrong said it is a major public-safety issue.
The mayor-elect said he hopes to be able to secure FEMA money for these projects too.
“In the wake of Sandy we want to sound the alarm with these roads,” he said.
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