Ocean City Today

New complex to safely store city equipment

Second Street site plans to house beach tractors, trams hopefully by next summer
By Katie Tabeling | Aug 24, 2017
Courtesy of: Morgan Design Group The floor plan of the Second Street transportation and malignance facility is planned to have 30 onsite parking spots, space to store all eight trams and other equipment.

(Aug. 25, 2017) Early designs of Public Works Department’s future Second Street complex involve increased the floor space to accommodate millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, including the eight Boardwalk trams, and the dozens of people who work with them.

“It’s all designed around functionality,” Public Works Director Hal Adkins said. “The circulation pattern is that trams will enter from Second Street in a northern direction to Third Street. Simply put, conductors will drive in, park, punch out and go home.”

Last winter, Ocean City officials bought a 35,500 square-foot lot on Second Street and St. Louis Avenue for $2 million, so they could erect a structure more suitable for tram storage.

Their current location, Whiteside, a metal building on North Division Street, has served as the storage facility since the 1970s. The problem, however, is that it has 800 square feet dedicated to tram storage.

The Second Street site set the tram staging area at 9,000 square feet, according to early estimates.

“With this plan, the tram facility will house eight trams, stacked four in front of four. That means we won’t have to disconnect them or get staff in on overtime to hook them up,” Adkins said.

The Second Street lot is also envisioned as a maintenance facility, with a bay that gives staff the room to work on the machines. There also will be room for six beach sweeper tractors, Boardwalk sweepers, and power washers. The entire complex will have roughly 18 overhead doors that allow the vehicles to back into a small garage.

“We have millions in trams and beach tractors and thousands of dollars in small equipment,” Adkins said. “That’s a lot of value in rolling stock and housing it will increase its longevity.”

He added that the design plan still waits on the City Council’s decision on whether to purchase new trams. Rough estimates for gas models and electric models range between $2 to $4 million.

“If we go in electric, then we’ll run electrical feeds inside the tram facility for overnight charging. But we’ll still have a fuel tank on site, since the balance of this equipment runs on gas,” he said. “Beach tractors run on diesel and fuel up at 65th Street.”

Included in the design plan are 30 parking spaces, which will accommodate shifts of employees, as well as administrative and meeting areas. From the outside, the warehouse will blend in with the neighboring houses and condominiums on St. Louis Avenue. The Ocean City Development Corporation will make aesthetic recommendations in the upcoming weeks.

Since trams and other maintenance equipment make rounds on the Boardwalk daily, city officials are considering ways to make traffic flow from the new complex seamless. Traffic Group Incorporated is studying the Third Street and Philadelphia Avenue intersection and whether it meets state requirements for a traffic light.

“My ideal operation is to leave on Third Street, head east and enter the Boardwalk there, and exit late at night on Second Street and come west,” Adkins said. “If the signal is not warranted, either my guys can use the Third Street exit and loop to Second Street to catch the light, or use the Second Street as ingress and egress.”

After Adkins hears from OCDC, he plans on moving at “lightning speed” to complete the design documents with Morgan Design Group of Owings Mill, Maryland. The plan is an investment of $75,000, and will help budget the cost of construction.

“My hope, and maybe it’s overly optimistic, is to bid it out in late September and commence construction by late fall. It’s my ultimate goal, again maybe optimistic, to have it ready for use summer 2018,” Adkins said

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