NORTH WILDWOOD - Residents expressed dismay over ongoing repairs to North Wildwood’s seawall.
Residents in condominiums near the seawall’s construction have endured unwanted traffic, namely trucks and other vehicles, in the area throughout the past few months.
Charles Feeney, an Anglesea Colony Gardens resident, said the construction, which he claimed has been going on since September 2020, has been troublesome for the condo association’s residents.
“We sacrifice for safety, and that’s what we’ve done, but it’s been a long sacrifice,” he said.
Normally, residents have a beautiful courtyard view, but this year, it was nothing but dirt, rock, trucks, boards and fences, he said.
He also added that he holds no ill will towards those involved in the repairs and construction, but he feels sorry for first-floor residents who lost their views, as well as people who are only there seasonally who lost the view during the summersince construction through the courtyard occurred all summer long, according to Feeney.
As a year-round, second-floor resident, he said he can still see the ocean, but the first floor has “nothing to look at but fence,” as the condominium’s courtyard has been completely fenced in because of the construction.
Feeney acknowledged that those responsible for the project are doing the best they can, but that residents have sacrificed for a long time.
North Wildwood City Administrator Ron Simone explained the project belongs to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE).
“It’s a federal project, so the city really can’t comment too much,” he said.
The state and the ACE found that a section of the wall and rock was damaged by way of survey, Simone added.
The purpose of the seawall’s repairs is “to reduce the risk of coastal storm damages for the residents and community of North Wildwood,” stated Steve Rochette, public affairs officer for the Philadelphia District of ACE, via email.
“I don’t know exact numbers,” Simone said, regarding the cost of the project, but he noted it was “significant.”
According to Rochette, the contract was made with Agate Construction Company, which has been modified several times and is currently at $16.5 million.
“The project is cost-shared 65% federal funding and 35% non-federal funding. The 35% non-federal funding is further subdivided 75% state and 25% municipal. Federal funding is from energy and water appropriations from Congress,” Rochette stated.
Residents can expect the unwanted traffic to wrap up soon, as Simone shared that the work is now complete regarding stone placements at the seawall and work done from the water.
“Repairs on the actual seawall have been completed,” stated Rochette. “Site restoration, demobilization, and other activities are expected to be completed in about a month.”
In response to residential complaints at Anglesea Colony Gardens, Simone said he understands the inconvenience since the condominium’s courtyard has been used as a staging area during the midst of the repair process.
“We understand that impacts from construction can be a source of frustration, and we’ve worked closely with the contractor, the State of New Jersey, North Wildwood, and the community in the surrounding area during the construction process to mitigate those impacts,” stated Rochette. “We certainly appreciate the partnership and support we’ve received.
"It’s also important to point out that the seawall is a significant benefit for the community in the long run. In order to repair the seawall and provide the storm protection to the community, it was necessary to deliver large quantities of rock via truck to the project site.”
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