OCEAN CITY — While an online poll on the future of Ocean City’s Boardwalk surface rolls on, extensive repairs to the famous promenade continued this week.
According to Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins, the town has around $127,000 in its current budget for Boardwalk maintenance and the funding is being used to repair several trouble spots to safely get through the upcoming season in advance of a major rehabilitation project likely to begin next fall.
The Ocean City Mayor and Council is currently mulling three proposals for the extensive Boardwalk renovation including an all-wood surface, a wood surface with a plain concrete train lane down the middle, or a wood surface with a concrete train lane down the middle stamped to simulate a real wood surface.
In the meantime, certain sections of the Boardwalk need immediate attention prior to the upcoming season and in advance of the major repair coming later this year. To date, a section of the Boardwalk from 19th to 20th streets has been replaced with new wood decking, along with another 100-foot section in the area of 18th Street.
This week, crews were working in the area of 5th Street on a section that will continue to head south to an area just north of 3rd Street. Adkins said this week the funding was in place and the projects could not be delayed.
“The money was allocated and there are certain sections that just need to be repaired right away, regardless of what’s decided with the long-term project,” he said. “We had no choice. Come next October, we might be undertaking a major repair and rehab of the Boardwalk, but these areas needed attention immediately.”
Work in the 5th Street area this week revealed why the larger rehabilitation project is needed in the first place, according to Adkins. When workers removed the top decking boards, they found significant damage to the substructure.
“That area of the Boardwalk is particularly bad in terms of the substructure,” he said. “When we got under there, we found some seriously deteriorated sections that we’re piecing back together to get through the summer season. We’re going to keep going until we run out of the boards we purchased with the money that was budgeted.”
Meanwhile, the online poll continued this week with 12,729 votes cast as of yesterday. The nostalgic favorite all-wood surface is leading with 5,690 votes, or nearly 45 percent, while the stamped concrete train lane is in second with 38 percent of the vote. The plain concrete train lane had garnered just 17 percent of the vote as of yesterday.