WILDWOOD – An engineering firm will perform a cost analysis of repairing the Wildwood Boardwalk, after Mayor Peter Byron said he got reassuring words from top aides in Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration that state help iscoming.
“The message the governor wanted them to convey to me was that you have to put a plan together, we need a plan, and that's what we’re doing now,” Byron said, in an interview.
Commissioners voted Dec. 23 to pay CME Associates, the city’s engineer, $26,500 to construct a plan, including determining the project’s cost, preparing a preliminary engineering report, and describing how it would comply with environmental regulations.
The county’s largest tourist attraction has been in desperate need of repairs for years. Murphy vetoed a bill that would have sent $56 million to fund boardwalk repairs, in 2019. In April 2020, after a windstorm, a section of the boardwalk overturned on itself, prompting a visit from Murphy to inspect the damage (http://bit.ly/35mDIky). The visit was a turning point, Byron said.
“It was an eye-opener, a game-changer. It's one thing to hear people talk about it. It's another to physically see and realize how tragic that could have been if that same thing had happened in the middle of the summer,” the mayor explained.
Byron said he spoke to state officials Dec. 28 and got reassuring words from Trenton.
“They said, ‘Look, the governor wants to help you. He made a pledge when he met with you back in (April) that he is not going to turn his back on you,’” Byron recounted.
The city’s engineer, John Hess, from CME Associated, stated in his proposal to commissioners that his firm’s work would be done within six weeks.