Nice Day Weather Wildwood Boardwalk

According to the city's master plan, 'The Wildwood Boardwalk is nearly 100 years old and is failing in many respects.'

WILDWOOD — The City Commission last month approved a master plan that calls for a $64.5 million complete Boardwalk reconstruction.

“The Wildwood Boardwalk is nearly 100 years old and is failing in many respects,” the plan said.

The city is seeking funding from the state. The plan argues that revenue generated from tourism taxes for the state comes largely from the Boardwalk.

“I pray to God, and I am hopeful that (the funding) comes to fruition because there is no way I can tax the people,” Mayor Ernie Troiano said.

The city engineer has recommended a phased approach to reconstruction:

Oak Avenue to 26th Avenue: $25.5 million

Montgomery Avenue to Schellenger Avenue: $20.7 million

Cresse Avenue to Burk Avenue: $18.3 million

All infrastructure, including fiber optics, sanitary sewer and water piping, will be replaced and upgraded, the plan states. The Boardwalk would be rebuilt with a concrete understructure and hardwood decking.

The project would begin in the fall if the money is available, the plan states.

The city administrator met with the executive director of the Assembly majority office in December. Authorizing legislation for the money could be passed in the early part of this year, according to the plan.

State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak, whose district includes Wildwood, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

If the city receives the money, it would immediately start planning reconstruction.

The city will continue its efforts to obtain money for reconstruction from other sources to alleviate the local taxpayers of this expense, the plan states.

Any renovation of the Boardwalk that would enhance the tourism experience, the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce is in favor of, said Tracey DuFault, the organization’s executive director.

“If grant money is available out there for that, we are thrilled, thrilled, to have that come our way. It’s much needed,” DuFault said.

The Boardwalk is one of the top reasons people visit the Wildwoods, DuFault said, adding the beach is the No. 1 reason.

“We have very large investments up on the Boardwalk with the Morey organization and the piers and Splash Zone. The Boardwalk comes to life during the summer,” DuFault said.

The Boardwalk needs to be taken care of, and DuFault said last week she was waiting for the final draft of the master plan to come to her.

Besides spelling out the need for a complete Boardwalk reconstruction, the master plan details what the city has been doing to keep the Boardwalk usable in the meantime, including demolishing and rebuilding two ramps.

Over the past three years, the city has bonded about $100,000 annually to fund major repairs, the master plan said.

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