Inlet Repairs Aim To Address Repeat Problem

OCEAN CITY — Months after Hurricane Sandy passed over Ocean City and the mid-Atlantic region, there is little evidence of the storm’s damage in the resort area, but one high-profile area continued to get attention this week.

As is the case with most major storms, the Inlet parking lot and surrounding areas typically see significant damage and erosion and Hurricane Sandy was no different.

This week, Ocean City crews were seen excavating the edge of the asphalt parking lot closest to the entrance to the Inlet parking lot, as well as repairing overhead lights still leaning from strong winds during the storm. Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins said this week crews are excavating the eroded edges of the parking lot closest to the Inlet seawall that suffered the most significant damage and changes are in store for the oft-damaged area.

“We’re excavating in that area in an east-west direction to repair the edge of the parking lot eroded by Sandy,” he said. “The curb there seems to get wiped out every time we have a significant storm and it got wiped out again. We’re going to replace the curb with a mini retaining wall that should add a little more height and hold up a little better in the future. While we’re at it, we’re repairing the damaged light poles that were still leaning after the storm.”

Adkins said the repairs are being done in advance of the more significant repairs to other areas in and around the Inlet area. During the storm, the wooden walkways around the Inlet Park and Chicago Ave. around 4th Street were completely destroyed and will be repaired and replaced. Last month, the City Council approved a bid from the contractor currently working on the major renovation of the Boardwalk to repair and replace the damaged wooden walkways in and around the Inlet area. The estimated cost of the repairs came to around $300,000, which was not included in the budget. However, the resort remains hopeful about 75 percent of the cost of the project will be reimbursed through federal storm relief funds.

The city’s share of the Inlet boardwalk repairs will come in at less than $100,000 and funds could be siphoned off the major Boardwalk renovation project, which is currently under budget. Last month, the City Council awarded the bid to Rehak Contracting, which is handling the Boardwalk renovation, in the amount of $229,000, along with a $52,000 contract award to Long Life Treated Wood for the lumber.