Longport wants to replace 50 feet of deteriorated bulkhead along Amherst Avenue.


LONGPORT – City officials are hashing out options for replacing 50 feet of deteriorated bulkhead on Amherst Avenue at 36th Avenue, which abuts a deteriorated bulkhead owned by Luciano Lamberti, who is building a restaurant on adjacent land in Margate.

Longport’s section of the bulkhead spans 50 feet across a park where a small gazebo is located and Lamberti owns 75 linear feet of deteriorating bulkhead across his land in Longport.

The restaurant developer has already replaced the entire length of city-owned bulkhead adjacent to the restaurant at his own cost in return for the City of Margate providing him the land on which the restaurant sits. The restaurant has been under construction for more than two years and Lamberti has already completed the portion of bulkhead that spans his Sunset Marina in Margate.

Longport Solicitor Michael Affanato, who has been discussing the bulkhead replacement with Lamberti, outlined three options for the Board of Commissioners to consider.

  • Option 1 suggests Lamberti sign over the upland portion of his land to the borough and the borough would assume responsibility for replacing the entire 125 feet of bulkhead. Although the borough would own the land, Lamberti would maintain his riparian rights.
  • Option 2 would be to work with Longport to replace the entire length of bulkhead.
  • Option 3 would have the borough go it along and utilize some of Lamberti’s land to square off the portion of the bulkhead that abuts his.

Deteriorated bulkhead in Longport.

An inspection of the bulkhead by borough engineer Remington & Vernick shows deteriorated timbers and areas that have been infilled where the land has eroded from beneath the bulkhead.

“It’s in way worse condition than we actually thought it was,” Affanato said. “Public Works will get to the point where they cannot keep pouring in dirt that goes out of the bottom of the bulkhead.”

Lamberti had suggested the city turn its property over to him so he could build a small house on it.

“That’s a non-starter, it’s not going to happen,” Affanato said.

The 50-foot parcel is undersized and not buildable.

The difficulty in doing a joint project is that the municipality is required to pay prevailing wages, which would increase the cost for Lamberti, who as a private property owner would likely obtain a lower bid amount, Affanato said.

A structural analysis should be conducted on Lamberti’s portion of the bulkhead to decide how the borough moves forward, he said.

Other options to consider include working in tandem with Lamberti to replace both sections of bulkhead under two separate bids.

Dennis said the borough would have to ensure its new bulkhead is stable before doing a “return” to match up with Lamberti’s bulkhead, ensuring that it remains secure. As was the case in Margate, the new bulkhead was constructed 2 feet into the bay and the landward side of the bulkhead infilled.

“The best outcome would be to work cooperatively and replace the entire bulkhead. He would pay for his (portion) at his expense under a separate contract and we would pay for ours at our expense under our contract and end up with one continuous bulkhead,” Dennis said.

Commissioner Dan Lawler suggested the borough obtain a bifurcated bid – one for the municipality and another for Lamberti’s.

Funding is available to finance the borough’s portion of the work, officials said.

Arthur Ponzio Associates of Atlantic City, who designed the bulkhead replacement project in Margate, could be contracted to do the design work and the cost of the design work split between the borough and Lamberti, Dennis suggested.

Affanato said he would inform Lamberti that the borough is not interested in giving up its land to construct a house, and negotiations will continue.


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Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.