Road Rage

It would seem simple enough. Atlantic City’s main casino drag, Pacific Avenue needs repaving. But nothing is ever simple in Atlantic City as 10 years of broken promises have left many doubtful of a new plan.

Pacific Avenue is a green property on the traditional Monopoly board and it’s a fitting color for Atlantic City’s main drag lined with multi-million dollar casinos and running parallel to the city’s famed Boardwalk.

But a simple and much needed re-paving of this famous street has eluded the city for almost a decade.

Now the casino Reinvestment Development Authority is promising the project will get underway this spring.

And almost nobody believes them.

“We’ve been hearing about this for 10 years. That’s how long this has been going on,” Atlantic City Jitney Association—which runs the city’s shuttle bus system—President Tom Woodruff told the Press of Atlantic City. “Deadlines come and deadlines go, and nothing happens.”

CRDA has already gone out to bid on a repaving twice since taking over the project as part of the city’s new tourism district, but has twice rejected the bids. CRDA officials had said the project would then have to wait until fall, so as not to disrupt traffic in the busy summer season.

But the authority has reversed itself and will go out to bid again hoping to have the project underway by May, reports the Press.

“The terms of the contract will require all work to be completed by the end of the year, and work will be staged to create as little inconvenience as possible to Atlantic City’s visitors, employees and residents,” John Palmieri, CRDA executive director said in a recent letter to the Press.

A further delay, however, could hurt Atlantic City’s already battered reputation.

Speaking on Atlantic City’s local 1400-AM WOND radio Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen called the Pacific Avenue situation “a little sad” and “very concerning.”

Allen confirmed that Hard Rock is “curious” about purchasing the troubled Revel casino in the city.

“It’s mind-boggling that something as simple as this can’t get done,” Allen, a former Atlantic City casino executive, said. “I said to myself, ‘Why are we even considering (Atlantic City), if we can’t get the major thoroughfare finished for the summer season?’ … It’s a little scary.”