Iconic Wildwood Boardwalk undergoing major renovation project
The iconic Wildwood Boardwalk is getting a facelift before the summer crowds arrive, but officials say that supply chain issues have made the project difficult.
The boardwalk replacement project is a huge undertaking, according to Mayor Pete Byron.
“A year and a half ago, we had out of nowhere some kind of big windstorm come up and rip up a whole block of boardwalk down by the convention center,” Byron says. “It did two things – one we were lucky it didn’t happen during the summer. That could’ve been catastrophic. And two – it really brought the attention of the governor to say how bad our boardwalk was.”
The state sent $4 million to help replace the deteriorating boardwalk. The funds will cover the majority of Phase 1 from Oak to Maple avenues.
“This is where the piers end, right here. So, we wanted to take the area which was most heavily traveled and fix that first,” Byron says.
The wood crews are currently using on the boardwalk is pine, but that wasn’t the original material they were planning to use. The mayor says that due to supply chain issues and delays, they were forced to switch wood so that the project could be completed on time.
The delayed materials will be held for Phase 2, which will replace the boards down to 26th Street in late fall. Byron says that getting Phase 1 complete before the summer was a priority.
"I think people are just ready to come down and not have to wear the masks if they don't want to. Maybe people want to and they can. That's a personal choice. But this summer, as good as last summer was really good, this summer is just going to be a blast,” he says.
The entire boardwalk repair project is expected to cost $30 million. The mayor says he's hopeful Gov. Phil Murphy will allocate money in the next budget for the next phases of the boardwalk project.