WILDWOOD - Construction work on a $23 million drainage project, aimed at alleviating flooding in the Pacific Avenue business district, should wrap up by the beginning of June, said Jim Oris, the engineer overseeing the project for Wildwood.
Oris said $15 million is funded by the Flood Hazard Risk Reduction and Resiliency Grant Program, administered through the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the largest amount which can be awarded through the program. The remaining $8 million is funded by the city.
The project will remove eight outfalls on the beach, which use gravity to take water from storm drains out to sea, in favor of one outfall, which will be tied into a new pump station being built at Leaming Avenue, Oris said.
For now, the infrastructure under Pacific Avenue won’t change, though plans to replace some of it in future phases of the project exist.
Originally awarded in December 2019 to contractor Northeast Remsco, construction on the project began in February 2020 and has continued, with a projected end date of early June. Oris said he does not expect the project to linger into summer.
The existing pipes will be tied into a new manifold at Ocean Avenue, which will carry stormwater to the pump station, Oris said. Northeast Remsco is working in the ocean, laying pylons for the new outfall at Leaming Avenue (http://bit.ly/2ZiDwiP).
A portion of the Boardwalk will be removed to accommodate construction and then be replaced by the contractor, which should be happening “in the next couple of weeks,” Oris said.
An impending dune project for the island complicated some of the initial plans for Pacific Avenue drainage, pushing the timeline back. The grant was originally awarded at $12.3 million, in 2016, but increased to $15 million when those issues were brought to light.
Road work will continue on Ocean Avenue and east on Leaming Avenue until the project is complete.