Seaside Heights officials are soliciting bids to reconstruct the entirety of its boardwalk that was last replaced after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, however the breadth of the project will hinge on state funding.
Last year, the borough replaced several blocks’ worth of boards from Dupont Avenue northward, as well as the Grant Avenue vehicle ramp and adjacent timber boards. This year, in two phases, the borough is seeking to reconstruct the rest of the boardwalk. A bid solicitation was published this week, seeking firms to build a perform a re-decking and conduit re-installation on the north end of the boardwalk. The project would include the removal and replacement of 72,400 square feet of existing boardwalk decking from Hiering Avenue to Sherman Avenue. The decking would be made of timber.
The project also would include the installation of electrical PVC conduit at various locations along and under the boardwalk. The conduit would serve as the backbone of a proposed new public address system for the boardwalk after years of unreliability from a wireless system installed many years ago. A temporary wired system has been in place for about five years.
New Jersey has dedicated $100 million in federal infrastructure dollars to a boardwalk replacement fund that will allow for the replacement and maintenance of boardwalks and associated structures in coastal towns across the state. The state has also carved out a separate, special grant for Seaside Heights to receive a security camera system for its boardwalk.
“We put in our application – it was due and we made the deadline and we were ahead of the game,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz. “We’ve been waiting to hear. It went through the process, and the last word I heard was in the middle of January when I inquired. I’m assuming any day now we will get the word.”
Vaz said the boardwalk replacement, if the funding materializes would be completed in two phases, beginning with the northern portion that is the subject of the most recent bid solicitation.
“If we get the total amount requested, we would complete the rest of the boardwalk that we didn’t do last year,” said Vaz. “We want to start this spring with the north end, then after the summer – maybe October – we will do the south end.”
Vaz said the borough also included in the bid application funding to replace the boardwalk along the bay beach at Sunset Park.
“We’re not sure where we stand on that, but we’re confident,” he said.
It is expected that the borough will also continue work on its public address system in 2024, with a hard-wired system being expanded amidst the conduit that will be included in the project.
The new system will consist of 16 additional speakers across eight locations on the boardwalk. All but two of the speakers will be mounted on 18-foot poles, and will direct sound toward the boardwalk as well as out to the beachfront itself, so guests on the sand can hear emergency messages. Two speakers will be mounted on buildings.