Boat Ramp Makes Holiday Weekend Deadline

WEST OCEAN CITY — The new public boat ramp at the commercial harbor in West Ocean City opened in time for the hectic Memorial Day weekend as planned last Friday after crews worked practically around the clock as the deadline neared.

The extensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of the decades-old public boat ramp in West Ocean City was completed with little room despair late last week and opened around 12:30 p.m. on Friday as promised. The $450,000 project, paid for with a combination of state and federal funding, includes the removing the existing two-lane ramp built in 1988 and replacing it with a six-lane facility complete with a supporting bulkhead, fixed piers and floating docks.

In order to accomplish the project, cofferdams were erected around the existing boat ramp and the water was pumped out, creating a dry work area into which concrete could be poured into the erected framework for the new ramps. The project suffered a brief setback when the original cofferdams leaked and head to be replaced. Once the glitch was overcome, the contractor, Hi Tide Marine, and the subcontractors, were able to bring the new boat lift construction home in time for the Memorial Day weekend as promised.

“While the reconstruction of the ramps proved difficult and challenging at times, the general contractor, Hi Tide Marine, with support from D.W. Burt Concrete, did an amazing job in mobilizing additional workforce and working extremely long hours over the last several weeks to substantially complete this project in time for the Memorial Day weekend,” said Worcester County Public Works Director John Tustin this week. “Job well done and I wish to publicly thank them for their commitment to the project and Worcester County.”

The new boat ramps officially opened at 12:30 p.m. last Friday and were immediately put to the task by dozens of recreational boaters taking advantage of the near perfect holiday weekend weather. Vehicles and trailers lined up at the new ramps all weekend as vessels of all shapes and sizes were put in and taken out of the harbor.

While the project is substantially completed, the contractors were still putting the finishing touches on the new boat ramps this week. Four of the six ramps and floating piers are open for use by the public, while the remaining two east and west ramps and adjoining piers are expected to be completed within the next week.