The Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved two grants to the Borough of Avalon that total nearly $2.07 million dollars for two major projects in the Borough.  The Board took the action during its Tuesday, November 14th meeting at the Crest Haven Complex in Cape May Court House.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Board of Chosen Freeholders have approved these two very important heritage projects in the Borough of Avalon”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi.  “This funding will ensure that all residents and visitors to Cape May County will be able to enjoy extraordinary recreational and cultural opportunities in Avalon for generations to come”.

The grant allocates nearly $2 million for the creation of a new Surfside Park to be located adjacent to the Avalon Boardwalk at 30th Street and the beach.  It also provides $70,000 in funding for the expansion and connectivity of Avalon’s popular bicycle path which currently exists on Dune Drive outside of the business district in Avalon.  Surfside Park will be put out to bid with construction beginning in September, 2018 with an anticipated opening date in May, 2019; the expansion of the bicycle path is anticipated to be completed before the end of 2017.

Surfside Park replace a current playground and skateboard park that currently sits adjacent to the boardwalk.  The skateboard park has seen very limited use in recent years as well as a significant deterioration of the ramps and equipment inside the park.  The playground equipment is at the current end of its life cycle and needs to be replaced.

The new Surfside Park will feature an open play lawn area with a small elevated berm that will face a small performance stage that will host small concerts, performances, and activities for children.  It also includes new bathroom facilities, rinsing stations, and a changing station for day-trippers.  New playground equipment will be installed that is both ADA accessible and age appropriate.  Surfside Park will also feature two entrances that provide great photo opportunities, re-use of water for irrigation purposes, and a brand new gazebo for picnics.  New bicycle racks will also be added for enhanced access.

The expansion of the bicycle path will utilize existing roadway on portions of First Avenue and Avalon Avenue with additional signage and street markings that will enhance public safety.  The bicycle path may also include wayfinding signs that indicates direction and location of key Borough assets.

The application for both projects was approved by both the Mayor’s Recreation Advisory Committee and by the Avalon Borough Council.