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Ocean City Wins Nearly $5 Million Grant for Boardwalk Upgrades

Ocean City Wins Nearly $5 Million Grant for Boardwalk Upgrades


Ocean City is receiving a state grant of nearly $5 million to finance a series of improvements to its family-friendly Boardwalk.

The money comes from New Jersey’s $100 million Boardwalk Preservation Fund, a newly created program that will help shore communities to maintain and update what for many of them is their signature attraction during the busy summer tourism season.

“So many of us have created memories with family and friends at the boardwalks of the Jersey shore. Our boardwalks have long been a prized destination and we want to keep them that way by helping shore communities repair and maintain these wooden main streets,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a news release Friday announcing grants for 18 towns from the preservation fund.

Ocean City has been approved for a grant of $4,859,175. The money will be used to make repairs to the deteriorated substructure near Third Street, improve storm resiliency, and add ADA-compliant ramps across the length of the Boardwalk, city spokesman Doug Bergen said.

The work will be completed in phases between now and the end of 2026.

“Our Boardwalk is one of the things that make Ocean City unique, and it has been the centerpiece of family vacations for generations. I’m grateful to the state for investing in this vital part of our economy, and it’s good to know that we’ll be able to continue to keep the boards in great shape while increasing accessibility for all,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement.

Ocean City spends millions of dollars in upkeep, repairs and improvements to its iconic Boardwalk.

Each year, the city’s most popular man-made attraction must withstand the colossal weight of countless people walking, running and biking on it. The seashore’s whipping winds, salt water and beach sand also take a toll on the 2.5-mile structure.

Workers install new boards in May 2022 before the height of the summer season.

The Boardwalk Preservation Fund was created last year by Murphy to assist Ocean City and shore towns in making critical improvements to their boardwalks and oceanfront promenades.

Administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the grant funding also aims to help Jersey shore communities remain vibrant tourism destinations in the long term by investing in state-of-the-art materials that increase storm resiliency and ensure longer lasting infrastructure, according to the news release.

“We are confident these grant awards will help our boardwalks thrive and continue to inspire and delight visitors for years to come.” DCA Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez said.

The Boardwalk Preservation Fund was made possible through federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which have been dedicated by the governor and state Legislature for an array of economic recovery and revitalization projects across New Jersey.

Eligible projects had to meet at least one of the following criteria: Construction that adds new boardwalk components, boardwalk maintenance, boardwalk reconstruction, or repair of ancillary or related structures.

Examples of projects include replacement of old and crumbling decking along the boardwalk with resilient, longer-lasting materials; replacement of deteriorating pilings and boardwalk infrastructure; improving access and safety by building ADA compliant ramps and railings; expanding an existing section of the boardwalk; and providing grant funds to businesses that need to complete upgrades to align with the proposed boardwalk construction, the release said.

The following are the Boardwalk Preservation Fund grant recipients:

Grant Recipient Award Amount
Asbury Park $20,000,000
Atlantic City $20,000,000
Belmar Borough $1,504,184
Berkeley Township $448,125
Bradley Beach $4,275,000
Brigantine $1,185,838
Cape May City $6,722,552
Carteret Borough $2,417,339
Keyport Borough $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