Long time resident, Glenn Klotz, believes Margate needs a new boardwalk. Many agree. Read the latest from Glenn:
The battle with the State of NJ about Margate’s beach is over. Today, Margate finds itself with a “new” beach design decidedly NOT of our choosing. The State of NJ used it’s power of eminent domain. They condemned and have taken the easement needed, to construct the current beach design. Sadly, there’s not much the citizens of Margate can do about it. That being the case, we need to find a silver lining in this onerous situation.
If life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Here’s my suggestion on how Margate can make the best of this unwanted beach situation….. and do it with style!
Margate Once Had a Boardwalk.
It’s been 56 years since Margate had a still standing portion of a city-wide boardwalk. The infamous Nor’easter Storm of 1962 took care of that last remaining section that extended south from the Margate Pier. Since then, Margate has been without a boardwalk or any walkway along the beach. We were fine without a boardwalk. Until now.
Back when the Margate boardwalk existed, most of our beaches were much narrower than today. With periodic replenishment of Absecon Island’s beaches over the past 100 years, the beaches have widened. Hopefully, they’ll stay that way for a long time to come.
The Margate boardwalk as it was constructed back in the early part of the 20th century, was a narrow, lightly built structure. It was built too close to the ocean. (no protection beyond being elevated) So, by design, it was probably much too exposed to survive.
By the time of the great Northeastern Hurricane of 1938, it was already pretty rickety and beaten up. In between that storm and the 1944 hurricane that made land fall, the old boardwalk was ultimately destroyed.
The silver lining to that sad story? We did learn from our mistakes. We can now build much better boardwalks. Better construction. Smarter protection.
New Era of Boardwalk Reconstruction on Absecon Island
Today, a boardwalk still extends from Absecon Inlet to Margate. It’s a brand new section (along Absecon Inlet) that’s just now being completed by the ACOE, Army Corp of Engineers. So, since we’re in a new era of boardwalk reconstruction, I propose that Margate builds a citywide boardwalk extending from Ventnor at Fredericksburg Ave., through Margate, all the way to Longport.
This new boardwalk would be built in the current dead / empty beach zone directly behind the newly built dune, aka ‘berm’. This new boardwalk would feature access ramps and stairs. It would be built to rigorous, modern standards. It’s railing would extend parallel in height, to the top of the dune/berm. (similar to Ventnor)
We should ask NJ DEP for permission to maintain the dune height, the same level as Ventnor’s. Yes, sea-view and breeze do count.
The current situation on Margate’s beaches is more than just annoying. It’s unreasonable. It’s extremely wasteful. Too much of the beach is now, unusable.
I greatly prefer Ventnor’s dune situation. Some semblance of seaview and breeze still exists for those using the boardwalk.
Such a project would probably require a public referendum (vote), to approve of and fund such a boardwalk. It would also require NJ State approval. All of this would not be easy to obtain. But, the advantages of such a structure would benefit Margate. I, and many others, believe it would be worth the effort.
It’s a proven, historical fact. Since Margate already had a boardwalk at one time, it should preclude us from having to ask the State of NJ for an entirely new set of permissions, in order to reconstruct a new boardwalk. Examples #1: Piers are permitted to be rebuilt after they’ve been destroyed or damaged. Example #2: Already existing jetties and groins can usually be rebuilt.
Advantages of a New Margate Boardwalk
Advantage #1: Margate would regain much of the lost sea view and breezes, now cut off by the new dunes.
Advantage #2: Better access to the ocean. A system of ramps from the street ends. (like Ventnor and AC) These ramps would make beach access easier for everyone, especially families with kids, seniors, and those with limited or no ability to walk.
How about the simple pleasure of walking along and above the useless dead zone. A sit down on boardwalk benches. Bike riding, pushing baby strollers, roller-skating. A new boardwalk would dramatically convert a useless part of the beach (over 50% of it in many areas now) into a useful public space, once again.
We see little downside to maintaining a new boardwalk. AC and Ventnor has proven this is something we can easily do.
Added benefit: the new boardwalk would have much better protection from storm surge. The new dunes would help with that.
Popularity of the Boardwalk in Ventnor and Atlantic City.
Today, if I want to see the ocean and horizon, I go to Ventnor’s boardwalk. Walking down to a street-end bulkhead in Margate is no longer an option. There’s nothing to see from the beach blocks in Margate, except for a mountain of sand. We need our Margate boardwalk back. This would remedy our degraded access to, and views of, the ocean.
CHANGE WITH THE TIMES.
Margate didn’t ask for the beach work and changes we’ve endured over the past 18 months. We know they’re pretty much here to stay, barring a super-severe storm and accelerated erosion. So, instead of complaining, maybe it’s best to move forward and take advantage of the situation. Create a new attraction in Margate. Like the one we had in the early 20th century. A boardwalk.
I propose that Margate’s City Commission prepare a citywide, non-binding referendum to let voters and taxpayers decide. Should we build a brand new, citywide boardwalk in Margate?
If the measure passes, Margate would probably apply to the State of NJ’s Green Acres Program for funding help. A new Margate Boardwalk would enhance our beachscape. It would create a valuable new asset for Margate’s residents and property owners. It would be a wonderful new attraction for our visitors. I believe it would be extremely popular.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.