Ocean City Today

Median work starts in Oct.

Barrier will run from 62nd to 26th Street
By Katie Tabeling | Aug 31, 2017
Courtesy of: State Highway Administration The five-foot-tall median fence will be installed from 62nd Street to 26th Street. The end game is to install the fence and lighting throughout the city.

(Sept. 1, 2017) Work on the median fence along Coastal Highway is expected to begin on Oct. 9, although the installation will stretch further down the highway than originally planned, the State Highway Administration said this week.

The $6.8 million installation of a five-foot-tall fence from 26th Street to 62nd Street will include grinding and repaving the road.

Last January, plans to start working on the medians from the Route 90 bridge to the convention center drive stalled when the sole bid came in over budget at $6.48 million. The anticipated cost was $4.5 million.

When the SHA put the median barrier back out for rebid on June 27, it was expanded to include resurfacing Coastal Highway.

“Originally, we had two separate projects, resurfacing Coastal Highway in that segment and the median fence. This time we combined them in the procurement process,” SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said.

Two bids, one from George & Lynch of Dover, Delaware and the other from Allan Myers of Fallston, Maryland were opened on Aug. 3. The SHA awarded the project to the low bidder George & Lynch. Allan Myers asked for $7.9 million.

Plans to install a median barrier have been discussed for years, and the City Council approved the design of a sand-dune style fence on the Coastal Highway in 2016.

The first phase originally concentrated on funneling pedestrians to marked crosswalks in a midtown area. State studies designated the 13-block stretch the most dangerous place to cross because popular bars in the area cause a high volume of foot traffic in the summer.

More than 48,000 vehicles travel Coastal Highway daily, according to the SHA, and since 2011, 171 pedestrian collisions, including four fatalities, have occurred. Of that total, there have been 19 pedestrians struck by cars to date in 2017.

This summer, 23-year-old James R. Ednie was struck and killed crossing Coastal Highway near 45th Street. The driver was later charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

“With the high foot traffic that Ocean City receives, SHA has made concerted efforts in promoting pedestrian safety … [such as] promoting the use of crosswalks with our ‘Walk Smart’ campaign,” SHA District Engineer Jay Meredith stated in a press release. “The construction of the median fence and roadway lighting is another initiative to enhance and solidify the message of pedestrian safety, for one life lost is one too many.”

In addition to installing the fence and repaving roughly two miles of Coastal Highway, the project will include landscaping the median, marking the pavement and lengthening the median turn left lane on northbound Coastal Highway at 52nd Street.

LED lights will also be installed on the medians from 62nd Street to Convention Center Drive.

During construction, George & Lynch will perform single lane closures and flag drivers through the work zone areas.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.