Sen. Vin Gopal and Gov. Phil Murphy on the boardwalk in Asbury Park.

ASBURY PARK – NJ Gov. Phil Murphy and Sen. Vin Gopal Thursday visited the historic Asbury Park Boardwalk to highlight a $100 million proposal in the 2024 budget that supports the launch of the new Boardwalk Fund program. The Boardwalk Fund is aimed at strengthening boardwalk infrastructure along the shore and will invest in the overall rehabilitation, resilience and revitalization of attractions that serve as a boon for tourism and enhance the economies of shore communities.

“When I imagine a summer in New Jersey, it’s hard to do so without thinking of our beautiful shore towns, especially our boardwalks, in which I can recall many fond memories with my loved ones,” Murphy said. “The Boardwalk Fund will help us ensure that these wooden main streets, which are the backbones of their communities, remain a place for families to continue making memories at the Jersey shore for generations to come.”

The Boardwalk Fund will utilize American Rescue Plan, COVID State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds that the governor and Legislature approved.

The application process will be managed by the Department of Community Affairs Office of Disaster Recovery and Mitigation, which will issue a Request for Proposals to shore municipalities.

To ensure that the Boardwalk Fund addresses the most critical and necessary capital needs along the shore, funding will be prioritized to shore municipalities facing financial distress and to projects that rehabilitate or improve the resilience of existing structures. Using environmentally friendly and state-of-the-art materials for these projects is a critical component to secure safer, longer lasting and more resilient boardwalk infrastructure. Projects that add new boardwalks or allied amenities, such as recreation areas, services or retail facilities, will also be eligible for funding.

“By partnering with municipal and county governments through the Boardwalk Fund, we are investing in the future of our shore communities and ensuring they remain a vibrant destination for generations to come,” Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver said.

Murphy, Gopal and Asbury Park Mayor John Moor visited three small businesses along the boardwalk to further solidify the importance of this program as we approach the busy summer tourist season.

“As state senator in a district that has a number of shore towns, I know the importance of a viable a and safe boardwalk,” Gopal said. “As we look towards the summer, we know we will see residents coming from across the state to take advantage of the beach and boardwalk, and they will be sustaining and empowering the local businesses. I am excited to see more funding coming to our district through the Boardwalk Fund.”

Asbury Park Mayor John Moor told the governor that he was “looking for it (the fund) to be retroactive because last year, we spent $1.2 million before this.”

Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

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