Atlantic City Boardwalk Allocated $20M for Repairs, Preservation

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The Atlantic City Boardwalk will undergo a $20 million repair to preserve the iconic waterfront promenade that dates back to 1870.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk is seen in a 2019 file photograph. The Boardwalk is set to undergo a major repair made possible by a $20 million grant. (Image: Getty)

On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced $100 million in funding for 18 municipalities to assist the local governments in addressing capital needs to restore their boardwalks. Atlantic City, the casino capital of the East Coast, received the most money with a $20 million grant.

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,” Murphy said. “The grant awards announced today are a meaningful step in preserving the health and dynamism of these special places.”

The $100 million comes from leftover money the state received through the American Rescue Plan — the federal funding measure crafted as an economic stimulus program.   

Boardwalk Restoration

Atlantic City’s Boardwalk is said to be the oldest in the nation. Originally designed to keep sand out of the beach’s neighboring hotels, “America’s Oldest Boardwalk” spans 5.5 miles and is about 60 feet wide making it among the world’s largest boardwalk structures.

The Boardwalk was about seven miles long until the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane. The devastating Category 5 storm destroyed the southern end of the Boardwalk where it previously stretched through Margate City. Today, the Boardwalk ends at Fredericksburg Ave. in Ventor roughly 2.5 miles south of Tropicana, the southernmost casino in Atlantic City.

The $20 million grant will be used to restore the historic landmark. The state release said the money will fund the replacement of old and crumbling decking and deteriorating pilings with more resilient, longer-lasting materials. The project will also result in improved access with ADA-compliant ramps and railings.

We recognize that boardwalks are the economic driver for many shore towns and cities. They are also incredibly expensive for local governments to maintain, repair, and strengthen,” commented Jacquelyn Suárez, the acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

“To support this significant state asset, the Murphy Administration created the Boardwalk Preservation Fund to ease the financial burden on local governments when improving their boardwalks. We are confident these grant awards will help our boardwalks thrive and continue to inspire and delight visitors for years to come,” Suárez added.

Critical to Casinos

The Atlantic City Boardwalk is a critical piece of infrastructure for six of the town’s nine casinos. Many guests walk the pathway during the warmer months to access adjacent resorts.

The Boardwalk provides a safe walkway for such pedestrian travel and connects Ocean Casino, Hard Rock, Resorts, Bally’s, Caesars, and Tropicana. Walking from Ocean on the Boardwalk’s northern end to Tropicana is a roughly 1.75-mile hike.

Atlantic City casinos generated brick-and-mortar gaming revenue of $2.84 billion last year, a 2.2% year-over-year increase from 2022. The casinos are concerned about the year ahead, as lawmakers in Trenton consider legislation to force the nine casinos to go smoke-free.

Along with the six Boardwalk casinos, Atlantic City’s Marina District is home to three casino resorts — Borgata, Harrah’s, and Golden Nugget.

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