OCEAN CITY — Apparently, tons of snow is easier to move than tons of sand.
Just as crews were making some headway to rebuild Ocean City’s beach back to normal from November’s massive Nor’Ida storm that destroyed almost half of the sand dunes, crews were faced with a 12-inch blanket of snow to move last weekend before getting back to the proverbial job at hand.
Though cleanup from the weekend snow storm stalled several citywide projects for several days, City Engineer Terry McGean said that the dune repair, which is in the early stages and will commence through the spring, was up and running a mere two days after the snow stopped.
“Beach replenishment was back up and running full steam ahead on Tuesday,” said McGean. “They tried to get out there on Monday, but it proved to be pretty much impossible.”
As construction crews worked around the clock to clear snow from the resort’s major traffic arteries, Public Works Director Hal Adkins said that one project that had already been delayed got pushed back even further.
“The 64th Street sewer pipe project was supposed to start on Monday, but due to the storm, they are looking to finally start next week,” said Adkins; “The Boardwalk contractor [hired to replace the decking between 12th and 13th streets] was unable to do any work for a few days, but I think was able to get back to work on Wednesday.”
Crews on the 64th Street sewer project are going to be fixing the town’s primary 48-inch wastewater intake beneath Coastal Highway. They were concerned with the amount of snow on the roads and altering traffic patterns even more so than they might have been due to the cleanup process.
The State Highway Administration also voiced concerns with any excavation projects in the days after the storm, thus stalling the project, which is already two weeks behind schedule, one more week.
“They are worried that they could have a repeat of last weekend over the course of this weekend weather-wise, so the crews have told us they will mobilize on Sunday, begin on Monday and essentially compress their two-week schedule into one,” said Adkins.
When the project finally gets underway, northbound traffic will be limited to one lane between 59th and 65th streets on Coastal Highway, with the incoming traffic from the Route 90 bridge condensed to one lane, which will merge onto the extreme left lane coming into Ocean City.