Renovated section of Wildwood, NJ boardwalk set to open Friday

The five-year project in total is estimated at $35 to 40 million.
WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The first phase of a multi-million dollar boardwalk renovation is nearly complete in Wildwood, New Jersey

A new three-block stretch of the boardwalk from Oak to Maple avenues is set to open Friday afternoon.

This comes after months of winter work, ripping up the old boards.

Cindy and Richard Roberts love walking the Wildwood boardwalk, but lately their walks have abruptly stopped at Maple Avenue.

Now the boards have been replaced with new pine and are set to open for Mother's Day weekend.

"Originally, everyone kind of thought that we might have to tear it down to the sand and rebuild it, but upon further review the engineers realized we don't have to do that because the substructure isn't as bad as anticipated," said Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron.

The five-year project in total is estimated at $35 to 40 million.

Byron says the $4 million needed for this section was state-funded.

This week, it was announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded $3.2 million for the next phase of the renovations -- five blocks going north starting in October.

For some businesses, it's been frustrating that the work has cut into some spring weekends.

Giovanna's Goodies couldn't open for Easter.

"We've been coming every day to clean and we see that people have to walk down the ramp and go all the way around," said Marisa DeFranco. "It's very inconvenient for the people."

But officials say the project is finishing ahead of schedule with an original completion date of May 20.

Many say the work is sorely needed after watching maintenance attempts on the 100-year-old boards.

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