OCEAN CITY — The final piece of the major two-year Boardwalk reconstruction project was completed this week with a section around N. Division Street torn up and replaced just in time for the arrival of Springfest.
The Ocean City Boardwalk has now been completely reconstructed from the Inlet to its northern terminus at 27th Street with the major restoration spread over the last two winter seasons. The first phase, which included the section from 27th Street heading south to 15th Street and the Inlet to Somerset Street, was completed last year. The project was then put on hold to accommodate the summer season.
Last October, the crews returned and started the remaining section from Somerset to 15th streets. The second phase was completed in mid-April on schedule and under budget, despite the relatively wet winter, but one bit of housekeeping remained and was completed this Wednesday, just ahead of the arrival of Springfest yesterday.
Because of the ongoing Caroline Street Comfort Station project and the need to bring heavy equipment and trucks to that job site, the section of Boardwalk around N. Division Street was left undone until this week.
“We held off replacing the Boardwalk deck between North Division and Caroline streets until the foundation for the new comfort station was completed to minimize the damage to the new wood,” said City Engineer Terry McGean this week. “They are now finishing that area.”
Early Wednesday morning, crews were seen tearing up a large section of old Boardwalk wood at N. Division Street roughly between the Boardwalk Arch and the Firefighters Memorial. By Wednesday afternoon, new board had been installed over the torn-up section, bringing to an end the two-year major rehabilitation project.
Meanwhile, work on the Caroline Street Comfort Station continued in earnest this week, but inclement weather has pushed back the completion date. The old underground comfort station was demolished in December with a target date for the completion of the new state-of-the-art facility and associated performance stage by Memorial Day weekend.
However, McGean told the Mayor and Council in April the contractors had lost about 14 days due to bad weather and the completion date had to be moved back. With the arrival of Springfest and another summer season pending, the Mayor and Council approved the temporary installation of portable restrooms until the completion of the project.