OC Eyes New Street Approach

OCEAN CITY – The fiscal year 2008 street improvement program is preceding smoothly, reported Public Works Director Hal Adkins this week.

The FY08 street improvement program is slated for completion by May of 2008. The goal of the annual street improvement programs has been to focus on citywide street improvement based on areas requiring the most attention rather than focusing on specific areas at a time.

Adkins explained to the Mayor and Council this week that the town needs to make a focused effort over the next five to seven years and concentrate on a large portion of construction efforts on general street maintenance such as pavement overlays, associated sidewalk restoration, and, in some cases, total pavement replacement.

Adkins presented the Mayor and Council with a copy of a street improvement questionnaire, giving them a clearer picture of what is reviewed before any street reconstruction is started.

The multi-year effort will focus on areas of need, rather than specific neighborhoods or sections of town. In the past, the town has focused more on specific areas, such as Bayshore Drive, in doing street improvements.

According to Adkins, the focus of the first four years will be on, “addressing the re-pavement of streets that are suitable for ‘an overlay’ in lieu of total pavement removal and sub base reconstruction, that have minimal sidewalk removal and restoration that is needed and that have adequate existing infrastructure as it pertains to water, sewer, and storm drainage mains.”

The majority of street repairs will focus on overlays, but a few other streets, high-volume traffic areas that require total pavement replacement, will be included as well. Streets more specific to complete water or sewer main replacement will also be added to the annual list, but will be designed and bid out to a general contractor.

Street work occurring beyond year five will focus more on tertiary streets. According to Adkins, “As we make substantial headway in completing overlays on numerous streets as noted …, the pendulum will start to swing towards a more equal balance, annually, of ‘total reconstruction listings’ versus ‘overlays’.”

Councilwoman Nancy Howard suggested the streets being proposed for improvements each year be included in the town newsletter, so that residents could be aware of potential work being done on their streets.