Seaside Heights Awards Bid for Boardwalk Reconstruction

Contract awarded to Sidd and Associates for $3.6 million.

Seaside Heights awarded a $3.6 million bid Wednesday night for the reconstruction of its devastated boardwalk. And as terms of the deal, the borough is setting what it believes is a realistic deadline of May 10 to have it complete.

The Borough Council accepted the proposal of Millstone-based Sidd and Associates to rebuild the entire length of the boardwalk destroyed when Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey at the end of October.

The reconstruction of the boardwalk is the first of two planned phases, the second a more encompassing effort involving the rebuilding of ramps, repairs to buildings, and other miscellaneous improvements, officials hope will get the shore resort back on its feet and ready for tourists before the upcoming beach season.

“I think this is the turning point. I think this is like the sun coming up in the morning,” Councilman Rich Tompkins said following the approval. “Tonight we’re moving in a positive direction and I really feel good about this summer.”

Wednesday’s meeting was the first one to take place in Seaside Heights following Sandy. In the past couple of months, mayor and council, as well as residents hungry for updates about their town and respective homes, have been on a roadshow, conducting their meetings in a Toms River library.

Officials have long promised a comeback. Now it’s taking shape.

The accepted bid is a bit of welcomed news for Seaside, which had been expecting much higher bid proposals when it sent out its Request for Proposals, or RFP. Of the 16 bids, however, the highest one topped out at around $8 million, with most of the bids falling somewhere between that high mark and Sidd’s accepted proposal of $3.6 million.

Borough Administrator John Camera said the borough received one bid for less than the accepted bid, but noted that key material defects kept it from being accepted as the lowest responsible bid.

Mayor Bill Akers said work on rebuilding the boardwalk is expected to begin in as early as 10 days. Sidd has immediate access to approximately 500 of the 1,500 pilings it will need to complete the project, Akers said, and is ready to start work on the town’s new boardwalk.

In the process of approving the bid, officials made it clear that delays in construction would not be accepted. Should work not conclude on or before the May 10 deadline, the builder will be subject to daily fines of $7,500 to cover the cost of anticipated losses in revenue. 

The hope is, however, that work will be finished earlier than the deadline date.

“We have every intention of getting it done,” Akers said.

In addition to its new boardwalk, much of the meeting was spent discussing flood mitigation in the future. While many barrier island communities are repairing or elevating their dunes, Akers said Seaside Heights isn’t considering installing any of its own, despite assurances that it would help protect the town in future instances of ocean flooding. As a resort town that relies on its beach to generate revenue, Akers expressed concerns that dunes would hamper access and views of the Atlantic Ocean.

In place of dunes, however, Akers said Seaside is looking to install a seawall the entire length of the boardwalk. He said he’s been told the seawall, which would rise from the base of the boardwalk and extend over its floorboards by two feet, can provide adequate protection from flood waters similar to dunes.

The boardwalk is also anticipated to be stronger and more resilient. Though Seaside opted to replace the boardwalk with wood instead of cheaper and longer-lasting synthetic boards, the new pilings are 25 feet long and will be struck into the ground 10 feet below sea level. The new boardwalk will also be raised to 16 feet, two feet above flood elevation maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. 

In all, completion of both phase one and two of the towns restoration efforts could cost around $8 million. Akers said the town is eligible to receive 75 percent reimbursement from FEMA but could be eligible for as much as 90 percent. Getting the beach open as soon as possible will help the borough pay off the money it isn't getting back, he said. 

Uncle Bob January 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM
How can the arcades match up to the new boardwalk if it's so high?
Bottom Line January 17, 2013 at 01:45 PM
This company does not even have a website from what I can tell. I am very curious to see who else submitted bids and for how much. This seems like a decent price, but all most too good to be true.
impeach1 January 17, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Do you think they also will keep the roadblock intact to keep the dirtbags out? That certainly would be a step in the right direction for the "Family Resort"
CHANGE_TR January 17, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Who are they trying to kid when they mention they opted for wood over chearper synthetic boards. They went the cheap way out. 1 composit board equals about 5 pressure treated boards
guinnesslover January 17, 2013 at 02:28 PM
"which has been expecting much high big proposals". Oh my.
Nancy K January 17, 2013 at 02:52 PM
I agree. that was exactly my thought. buy cheap, buy twice.
Madelin January 17, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Can not believe they went with wood. They have a chance to make it better and they stick with wood?
bob smith January 17, 2013 at 04:32 PM
what are they doing with that apk trash
Mr J January 17, 2013 at 04:38 PM
And dont park near the boardwalk during construction or APK towing will yank you over the bridge and start the storage meter
TomsBoy January 17, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Since other agencies are willing to reimburse the Town 75 to 90 % of the cost to fix and modernize the Boardwalk. The decision not to use composite boards for the surface area makes no sense. It is my understanding that composite boards last longer, need less maintenance and are not prone to splintering. Seems like a penny wise dollar foolish decision. Let's hope we can get the people in charge to change thier minds. I am sure they were just trying to save us all some money.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Johnjcpa January 17, 2013 at 05:14 PM
More than likely because people would actually stick to the composite unless they use a mechanical cleaner every night.
Cosma January 17, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Tonysoprano_62 January 17, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Is it true that the flood insurance premium for non-compliance or not raising your house above the new ABFE'S can be increased to 30 to 50K annually? This was the information I was quoted when I called the Toms River building/construction department to inquire. We need to get together folks. Otherwise it's turn out the lights for the middle class in Toms River.
Spooner January 17, 2013 at 06:01 PM
FEMA Seminar tomorrow in Toms River... http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/free-seminars-offered-to-settle-sandy-claims-d96a884a
jerseyswamps January 17, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Composite? Don't you mean plastic? I know composite sounds better. Like it was superior to wood. It gets as hot as blacktop. It sags. You will need more support underneath. It stains. It will break easier than wood.
VoiceofReason January 17, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Ocean County Police Blotter had the bid on their website. I believe it's public knowledge - I saw it. Seemed legit. Just google around for it.
JD January 17, 2013 at 08:17 PM
At least Seaside Heights is smart enough to build a concrete retaining wall alongside the boardwalk that will be 2ft higher than boardwalk. Belmar and PPB have not put that in their plans as of yet.
Gladys January 17, 2013 at 08:26 PM
LMAO, 30-50K for just flood ins. No one living in a home on the lagoon in Toms River would stay. There would be wholsale vacancies. Lets see a you now have a home on the lagoon in Toms River worth maybe 250k at best and you are going to pay $4,000 a month for flood insurance? There will be sooo many vacant home here, that the town and the banks will not know what to do with them.
jaime January 17, 2013 at 08:45 PM
its to good to be true lets see this company the the proper rate since its public funds they have to pay prevailing rates. watch and see how manny workers get fuked out of pay and the shit work that it is going to be or you will see the change orders coming in for the increase cost wait and see.
Makes sense January 18, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Makes sense January 18, 2013 at 12:16 AM
rick a January 18, 2013 at 12:22 AM
are they going to use union labor or pay prevailing wage
CHANGE_TR January 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM
They have come a long way with composite boards. Seaside Park has their entire walk way in composite and don't seem to have issues.
CHANGE_TR January 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Something is just not right...3.6 million dollars is really not that much money to do the work required. The material alone would cost a ton. I guess this is a drawback from being required to take the lowest bidder. You may end up with what you pay for. I hope it all works out in the end
blindbert January 18, 2013 at 03:05 PM
All boardwalks to be rebuilt should be designed to minmize flooding. They could with have a barrier incorporated into design in or in front of it. Sheet pile could double as the railing. That railing height would probably be close in elevation to the V zone storm elevation. Rock, Stone, and Fabric Revetment could be added to the sheet pile.That revetment would stabiilze sheet pile and boardwalk. Drop in or closing gates would allow acces and protection. This would also reduce sand loss due to wind erosion. If the railing was continous many areas would not have had overwash and subsequent flooding and deposition of sand. There is too much concern to get the Boardwalks up and running for the impending summer season. The towns should be more responsible for the property west of the Boardwalk. After all those properties pay the bulk of the taxes. Furthermore, the NJDEP should stop or revoke permits that allow for Beach Maintenance. Every years dunes start and are leveled when the beach is reshaped for the tourist season.
Makes sense January 18, 2013 at 09:22 PM
jim knorr January 19, 2013 at 12:55 AM
It does sound way too cheap, however I like the idea of using actual wood. Who wants to walk on a boardwalk made of plastic? I dont understand how they can raise the boardwalk up either? Will we have to go down stairs to get inside the buildings??? I dont like that idea...
Your Worst Nightmare January 19, 2013 at 06:21 AM
As Sinatra once said "The best is yet to come"..................... See you this summer, 28 Carteret:-)
T.C. January 21, 2013 at 06:52 PM
I only hope that the people who are in charge of the reconstruction of the boardwalk and Seaside Heights realize,that they have a "ONCE IN A LIFETIME" opportunity to change the sleazy,weekend party animal,young,rowdy, get drunk and piss in the streets reputation,that Seaside heights has been cursed with for 35 years and turn it in to a more upscale destination."Miami Beach,Pier Village", I'm not to optimistic.


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