Ocean City Today
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Median fence to start construction in two weeks’ time

Pedestrian barrier is priority this year, SHA officials say
By Katie Tabeling | Oct 09, 2017
File Photo A rendering of the median fence

(Oct. 6. 2017) Construction of the long-planned median fence and LED street light project for Coastal Highway will begin in two weeks so the work will be completed by the summer, the State Highway Administration said last week.

Although this project was packaged with the annual street repaving project, the SHA will first focus on building the five-foot-tall fence and light posts on the median from 26th Street to 62nd Street. Construction will start on Oct. 17.

“The first order of business will be the median. It is more than likely that the resurfacing portion of the project will begin in early spring with completion by early Memorial Day,” SHA media relations manager Charlie Gischlar said.

It remains unclear where the median construction work will start, but Gischlar said that the crews could begin work as early as 7 a.m.

“It’s likely that motorists can expect single- and occasional double-lane closures [on the left] during the median fence installation,” he said. “Work may take place from sunrise to sunset in spring 2018 to meet the Memorial Day deadline. Decreased traffic volumes can permit this.”

The SHA estimates that 48,000 vehicles travel Coastal Highway daily.

For months, the mayor and City Council have coordinated with the SHA on pedestrian barrier that would run on the medians from the Route 90 bridge to the convention center drive. That stretch was supposed to be the first phase of a larger project to funnel pedestrians to marked crosswalks by installing a sand dune-style fence on the medians.

The project also includes landscaping the median to make crossings look impossible to jaywalkers. The LED lights would also be installed to increase visibility of pedestrians while the cross.

Construction had been scheduled to start in January, but was postponed when the sole bid came in over the budget of $4.5 million. The project was extended another 14 blocks south and rebid this year. George & Lynch signed on for $6.48 million.

A proposed second phase of the project would run from 26th Street south to Ninth Street, and the next stage would focus on the highway from Route 90 to the Delaware line, depending on state funding.

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