OCEAN CITY – With very little fanfare or discussion, the Maryland Board of Public Works this week approved a nearly $200,000 expenditure for the ongoing beach replenishment project in Ocean City.
The three-member Board of Public Works, which includes Governor Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, on Wednesday approved the $190,138 state expenditure for Ocean City’s beach replenishment project apart from the estimated $10 million in federal, state and local funds being spent on the latest effort to restore the resort’s beaches ravaged by winter storms last year.
The expenditures approved on Monday will be used for monitoring and maintaining the beach long after the heavy pipes, trucks, tractors and other equipment so prevalent on the north end beaches in recent weeks are long gone, according to City Engineer Terry McGean.
“These are routine funds,” he said. “They are used to pay for survey work, dune planting, crossover repair and dune fence repair.”
The expenditures approved by the Board of Public Works on Wednesday include $81,138 for monitoring the health of the beach in the future, along with $109,000 for routine maintenance including occasional dune repair and nourishment, repairs to damaged dune fences and other unforeseen maintenance projects.
Meanwhile, the major restoration of the beach and its networks of dunes continued this week and has moved into the middle section of the resort. Early this summer, the federal Army Corps of Engineers awarded a roughly $8 million contract to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to begin repairing the beach and dunes devastated by a severe northeast storm late last November and the work began in earnest when the season ended.
The dune system worked as designed, but was left in shambles after the storm last year. When federal, state and local officials inspected the beaches, they determined an estimated $10 million would be needed to restore the damaged dunes, which had lost nearly a half a million cubic yards of sand from the Boardwalk’s end at 27th Street to the Delaware line.
Thus far, the replenishment project has been completed from around 75th Street to the Delaware line. This week, work began in the area from 75th Street south to 68th Street, and from 55th Street to 48th Street. The emergency dune repair is just part of the larger ongoing Ocean City beach replenishment project, which has a 50-year commitment from when it began in 1994 to 2044.