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Interest In Old Boardwalk Lumber Runs High
OCEAN CITY – Pieces of Ocean City’s old Boardwalk are being spread around the country for all to enjoy as the contractor has been recycling the lumber through interested parties.
City Engineer Terry McGean reported last Friday the reconstruction of Ocean City’s famous Boardwalk is going well and is still ahead of schedule.
Phase two of the Boardwalk’s reconstruction began in early October and is planned to end in April of 2013. The second phase will finish the entire Boardwalk reconstruction from Somerset Street to 15th Street. Last year, the project’s first phase included a section from the north terminus at 27th Street to 15th Street, along with another section between the Inlet and Somerset Street.
Just as in the first phase, the second phase includes removing the old wooden decking and making major repairs to the aging substructure underneath. When that work is completed, the wooden deck will be replaced with new boards laid down in an attractive pattern that also identifies the Boardwalk tram lane
According to McGean, currently demolition has been completed up to 7th Street, concrete is ready to be poured up to 4th Street and decking has been completed almost up to 3rd Street.
“It always takes longer to start up because to begin you have to wait for each contractor to finish, and once you get going then all the contractors, demolition, grading, concrete, can all do work at the same time,” McGean explained. “We are in that mode now and you will see things getting going now.”
Although McGean said construction is about a week ahead, he said that can rapidly change with a few rainy days, such as Wednesday of this week.
McGean put rumors to rest that the old Boardwalk wood is being sent to Crisfield following Hurricane Sandy to help with reconstruction. The old wood becomes the property of the contractor, Rehak Construction, who is responsible for hauling it away and was included in the bid process.
“Anyone who calls and wants it we give them the contractor’s phone number,” McGean said. “We felt the simplest thing to do was put it in the bid that the contractor owns the lumber and let the private enterprise do what private enterprise does best, which is find the best market for it.”
McGean said the contractor is mostly sending the old wood to south Florida where it is revamped to be sold as weathered siding. He explained that farmers are extremely interested in the wood because its creosote treatment wards of horses and is used to construct fences, barns and sheds. Modern day treated wood draws horses to chew on it and they then become sick.
Rehak Construction’s Jim Rehak confirmed on Friday that the wood is not being sent to Crisfield but he has found several folks interested in the lumber.
Rehak added besides sending the old wood to Florida to be sold to farmers it is also sold to seafood restaurant chains to be used for siding because of its weathered look. He added local artists have also shown interest.
“People like the history of the Boardwalk,” he said. “I am probably going to use some of it myself to build a pier just because I want people to ask me what the white stripes [tram tracks] are on there … I thought it would be kind of neat.”Rehak also confirmed that construction is going well up to this point.
“They [the city] have a very carefully planned schedule and so far we have been ahead of it … the city has been real good to work with,” he said.