OCEAN CITY — The massive Boardwalk renovation project continued in earnest this week, despite the dismal weather and the mid-week holiday, and is nearly on track in terms of the schedule and remains under budget.
In early October, the first phase of the complete reconstruction of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk began with the demolition of the old decking and substructure replacement from the north end at 27th Street working south. Phase I also includes replacing the section of the famous promenade around the pier heading north to Somerset Street. That work began earlier this month.
In Phase I, the northern section from 27th Street south to 15th Street is expected to be completed by April 2012. The southern section of Phase I around the Inlet pier to Somerset Street is expected to be completed by February, weather permitting. In addition, the ramp section between South First Street and the Ocean City Lifesaving Station Museum is being fully reconstructed to meet ADA requirements. Once the work starts, that section could be closed for up to two weeks with a finish date expected in February.
This week, crews continued to work south from 27th Street with a section to around 22nd Street closed. However, the town has provided five-foot wide temporary walkways in certain areas while the project moves forward. Crews also continued to work around the Inlet pier this week as piles of new lumber continued to be stacked on a section of the Inlet parking lot designated as a staging area.
Ocean City Engineer Terry McGean, whose department is overseeing the work done by the private contractor, RBCI, said this week the project is moving along well although there were some minor setbacks at the outset.
“Overall, the project is going well,” he said. “We got off to a little slow start as the contractor worked through some learning curves, but we should be back on schedule by the end of the month. We’re still under budget and there have been no major surprises or setbacks.”
Meanwhile, construction crews were seen this week pulling nails from the head-high stacks of old decking lumber removed from the Boardwalk. McGean explained the old deck boards are being salvaged by the contractor for other uses.
“The old decking is being recycled, the nails are being pulled and the lumber will be used as siding, etc.,” he said. “It is no longer structural, but still has some value.”
McGean explained this week recycling the old Boardwalk decking for other purposes allowed RBCI to submit such a low bid.
“The general contractor, RBCI, owns the old wood,” he said. “It is one of the reasons they were able to bid such a competitive price. We stipulated in the bid documents that all demolished material would be the property of the contractor. Therefore, we recognized the savings from recycling in the lower overall construction cost.”