ATLANTIC CITY — Bulkheads in Lower Chelsea will be replaced after the city received more than $4 million in grant funding.
The city-owned bulkhead replacement project includes sections along Sunset and Winchester avenues and street ends between Jackson and North Albany avenues.
A Tallahassee Avenue street-end bulkhead replacement was recently completed.
“This is part of the city’s effort to improve resiliency in all of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Marty Small Sr. “We heard the complaints from the residents of Lower Chelsea loud and clear. Now, we will execute.”
Ponzio Engineering was awarded a $195,000 contract in October by City Council to survey, design and develop plans and specifications for the bulkhead replacement.
The $4 million grant, a combination of Federal Emergency Management Agency and Superstorm Sandy recovery funds, will be used for the construction aspect of the project.
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The bulkhead replacements are part of a series of ongoing projects Atlantic City is undertaking to make it “more resilient from flooding and future storms,” the Mayor’s Office said.
The grant funding comes at a time when Atlantic City is seeing an increase in flooding events. The city saw about eight times more coastal flooding per year between 2010 and 2015 than in the period between 1950 and 1969, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
That translates from about three coastal flooding events a year to about 24, one of the highest rate increases of any U.S. city, according to the EPA.
Flooding has become so pervasive here that in 2012, the National Weather Service raised the threshold that would prompt a coastal flood advisory from 6 feet to 6.3, partly due to concerns the warnings were becoming too routine for residents.
Sixth Ward Councilman Jesse Kurtz, who represents the neighborhood, said the securing of grant funding to complete the bulkhead replacements was necessary due to the city’s lack of bonding capacity. He said the “large project” was critical to residents and businesses in the ward after “years of neglect.”
“I’m pleased the city is making this a priority,” Kurtz said. “It shows we’re serious about making residential neighborhoods strong for years to come.”
In addition to the Lower Chelsea bulkhead replacements, the $50 million seawall around Caspian Point in the Inlet is nearly complete. Bulkhead construction on Massachusetts Avenue will begin soon, as will the engineering phase of bulkhead replacement at Gardner’s Basin Park and in Ducktown.
Additionally, the design for the second phase of the $12 million Baltic Avenue Canal, which will consist of six pumps at the Atlantis Avenue end of the canal, is underway.
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