Ocean City Today

Securing Boardwalk won’t be work of art

A temporary look will be made better when second phase begins
By Greg Ellison | Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: Greg Ellison

(March 23, 2018) Reacting to recommendations that Boardwalk security be improved, the Ocean City Council is soliciting bids for a Boardwalk access control project that can be in place by this summer.

City Engineer Terry McGean on Monday told the council the two-phase project calls for barricades at 36 access points to prevent vehicles from driving onto the Boardwalk.

“Right now, we’re looking to advertise for bids for phase one and the estimated cost is $200,000,” he said.

Last November, the council appropriated $80,000 for design bids and in January agreed to pay Hunt Valley-based engineering firm JMT more than $155,000 to complete the task.

Among the challenges the design will need to address, McGean said, is how to restrict access without impeding the tramcar route around the pier.

“The consultant came up with an out-of-the box idea and we’ve discussed this with the pier franchise holder,” he said. “We’re going to essentially flip their parking spaces and the train lane.”

The barrier will be constructed so the train lane runs inside, McGean said.

McGean cautioned the council that first phase of the project will not be a thing of beauty.

“This summer is going to be jersey barriers and some metal gates that are not going to be very attractive,” he said.

McGean said this season’s temporary measures would be beautified as much as possible before the second phase begins next year.

“The barriers will be painted before they are installed so they will not look like something we scrounged off the side of the highway,” he said. “It will not be the most aesthetically pleasing project.”

Councilman Matt James voiced concerns about the first-phase design.

“So the entire length, when it’s complete, will be a concrete wall?” he asked.

McGean said that would only hold true for this summer.

“I fully expect that in 2019 it will be architectural bollards or planters,” he said.

Mayor Rick Meehan asked McGean to prepare street signs to alert visitors the project would not be completed until 2019.

McGean said Budget Manager Jennie Knapp recommended the project costs be pulled from fund balance — the city’s cash reserves — rather than the general fund, which is dependent on tax revenue.

The project bids will be opened April 10 and the contract awarded in six days with a 45-day window for installation, McGean said.

“We are ready to go,” he said. “I’ve been in contact with the procurement manager [Catrice Parsons] and we’re ready to put this on the street.”

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