Ocean City Today

At last, resort ramping up boat launch facilities

It may be just a boat ramp, but getting it was arduous process
By Katie Tabeling | Jun 29, 2017

(June 30, 2017) Ocean City officials christened the 64th Street boat ramp Tuesday morning with a ribbon cutting attended by state officials and Gov. Larry Hogan.

“We’re a boating community, and how can you be a boating community without a boat ramp?” Mayor Rick Meehan said during the short ceremony. “Now we have one where you can park your trailer. It’s what Ocean City’s about: outdoor recreation.”

The two-ramp bayside facility opened with little fanfare on May 4, 60 days ahead of its target completion date. Channels surrounding the boat ramp have been dredged to three feet at low tide. The new ramp is twice the size as the Little Salisbury boat ramp on 94th Street, which previously was the only public ramp in the resort where watercraft could be launched.

“That was built 35 years ago, at a time where there were few homes in Little Salisbury. Then it developed to one of our largest communities, and there was no room for people to park while they were using their boats,” Meehan said. “This became a number one priority for us.”

The city started its search by purchasing the land behind Rick’s Market on 64th Street for $5.1 million.

Meehan said there were some issues in obtaining proper easements, wetland and Army Corps of Engineers permits, but the job was put out to bid in 2016.

“It wasn’t an easy task, but thanks to [City Engineer] Terry McGean and his department, who put their blood, sweat and tears into this, it came together,” Meehan said.

Construction costs were significantly lower than $1.5 million estimate, as the City Council accepted a $714,849 bid from Murtech Marine last summer.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also played a crucial role in the new boat ramp, as it funded half of the construction costs and paid for all of the dredging of the channels through its Waterway Improvement Fund.

Since the waterway Improvement Fund was launched in 1965, it paid $300 million toward 4,500 projects at 400 facilities in the state.

Hogan also presented Meehan with a governor’s commendation for his city’s commitment to completing a project that is important to Maryland’s success.

“Recreational boating is a tremendous thing for our state, since it provides thousands of jobs and $2 billion to the economy, as well as helping families have fun on the bay,” Hogan said. “The only thing better than visiting Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk is actually getting out on the water.”

The governor added that the project was near to his heart since it was in “his neighborhood.”

“My folks had a place on 58th Street, and when I was a kid, I worked at what was Ocean Playland Amusement Park [on 65th Street] I even made my second real estate deal on 57th Street after I graduated college,” he said. “I’m pleased to see that with the hard work of Ocean City and the DNR, we can make this a reality.”

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