ATLANTIC CITY — Work has begun on one of the city’s most ambitious infrastructure projects.
The $43 million, two-year, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-led effort will see construction of a new seawall, new bulkheading and a new Boardwalk along Absecon Inlet.
Once completed, the project will allow pedestrians and bikers to stroll or roll uninterrupted along the boards from Gardner’s Basin to Ventnor — for the first time in the resort’s history.
The city says the project will increase property values and spur development in the area, as well as eliminate the splintered wood and decaying cement pillars that have greeted inlet visitors and residents for years.
“Communities need a foundation of solid infrastructure to support development,” said Elizabeth Terenik, Atlantic City’s planning director. “It’s especially important in shore communities that want to take advantage of waterfront access for public use and need to be resilient from storms and flooding.”
Phase one of the project, just begun, will involve construction of a seawall and Boardwalk from Oriental Avenue to Melrose Avenue.
The work, which will likely be completed by the end of 2016, is being funded largely by the Army Corps, which is paying $21.4 million. An additional $10.1 million is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, while $1.1 million will be paid by the city. A $600,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is being used as well.
The project’s second phase will begin later this year and should end in about a year. It will see the Boardwalk rebuilt from Rhode Island Avenue to Oriental Avenue, an area heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The work will cost $6.3 million, of which $5 million will come from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, with the city paying the rest.
During phase three, new bulkheading and a new Boardwalk will be built from Caspian Avenue to Gardner’s Basin. The work will start next spring and is expected to be finished by summer 2017.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has committed $3.6 million to that phase of the project, covering its cost.