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May 27, 2024

New Jersey pumps money into repairs for shore towns' boardwalks as summer unofficially begins

Gov. Phil Murphy says funds are from federal COVID dollars. Atlantic City is getting $20 million and the Wildwoods will receive about $20 million combined.

Government Jersey Shore
wildwood boardwalk repair Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Wildwood will receive $8.3 million in 2024 from New Jersey's boardwalk preservation fund to make repairs to its boardwalk. Among the other Jersey Shore towns receiving money, Atlantic City will get $20 million, North Wildwood will get $10.3 million and Ocean City will receive $4.9 million.

Asbury Park's boardwalk will see major upgrades this year as part of the state's efforts to renovate over a dozen Jersey Shore boardwalks that were ruined by storms over a decade ago.

Gov. Phil Murphy was joined Friday by state and local officials to tout the state's boardwalk preservation fund, fueled by federal COVID dollars. Murphy said he expects this to be one of the most successful summers ever for New Jersey as hundreds of thousands flock to the shore.

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"We're going to rebuild crumbling boardwalk infrastructure, remove blight along the shoreline, and invest in making our boardwalks more accessible, creating new opportunities for every member of the family to make memories, whether it's in Asbury Park or beyond, for generations to come," he said.

Boardwalk improvements are underway in 18 towns stretching from Cape May to Long Branch, state officials said Friday. In Asbury Park, about 80% of the boardwalk has already been replaced and reinforced. The $20 million awarded to the shore town will also support two new bathrooms on the boardwalk and the restoration of buildings behind Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre, Murphy said.

The $100 million in American Rescue Plan money dedicated to the boardwalk preservation fund was announced last year.

More than 30 communities applied for the funding last year with requests totaling more than $360 million, Murphy's office said.

Projects the state will fund in the shore towns include replacing old and crumbling boardwalks with longer-lasting and reinforcing materials, ensuring boardwalks are ADA-compliant by building ramps and railings, and expanding existing boardwalks.

State officials prioritized shore towns facing financial distress and projects that improve existing structures, Murphy's office said. Under federal law, the American Rescue Plan funding must be awarded by the end of 2024 and must be expended by grant recipients by the end of 2026.

"We need these boardwalks to stand the test of time. We need to support all of our businesses on our boardwalks, and this will go a long way to preserving the Jersey Shore," said Sen. Michael Testa (R-Cape May).

How much money Jersey Shore towns are receiving from N.J.'s boardwalk preservation fund:

Asbury Park: $20,000,000
• Atlantic City: $20,000,000
• Belmar Borough: $1,504,184
• Berkeley Township: $448,125
• Bradley Beach: $4,275,00
• Brigantine: $1,185,838
• Cape May City: $6,722,55
• Carteret: $2,417,339
• Keyport: $800,694
• Long Branch: $3,249,000
• North Wildwood: $10,259,827
• Ocean City: $4,859,175
• Sea Isle City: $1,997,000
• Seaside Heights: $4,795,362
• Toms River: $1,018,441
• Ventnor: $7,110,689
• Wildwood City: $8,269,013
• Wildwood Crest Borough: $1,087,425

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