OCEAN CITY — Resort officials this week approved the construction of a plaza to complement the dolphin sculpture planned for a base of the Route 90 Bridge.
Last year, the Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and its Public Art Committee proposed a plan for an elaborate dolphin sculpture just south of Route 90. In 2002, the marlin statue at the base of the Route 50 Bridge on N. Division Street was erected and five years later in 2007, the “Spillin’ the Wind” eagle sculpture was erected at 144th Street, leaving the Route 90 entrance as the only gateway without a public art display.
David Turner of Turner Sculpture in Virginia created the eagle statue at 144th Street and the OCDC commissioned him to create the dolphin statue planned for the Route 90 gateway. Chris Trimper of the OCDC’s Public Art Committee told the Mayor and Council on Tuesday the statue will be installed on April 14, which is the “International Day of the Dolphin.”
Trimper came before the council seeking permission to create a public plaza in the area of eastbound Route 90 where the dolphin statue will be situated. Trimper said the plan calls for a plaza with brick pavers, a masonry wall and landscaping. The plan also calls for a wall containing plaques recognizing donors who contributed significantly to the public art project. There will also be ground-mounted lighting as well as lighting on top of the wall to highlight the dolphin sculpture.
“We’re looking for approval to construct a plaza around the dolphin statue,” he said. “We’re hoping to make it a destination where people can enjoy the artwork and take pictures.”
The estimated cost of the plaza is around $30,000, which will be paid for by the OCDC through its fundraising efforts. The total cost of the project is around $70,000, of which $45,000 has been raised thus far. Trimper said the fundraising efforts are moving forward and the cost of the statue itself is already being paid in an installment plan.
Councilman Wayne Hartman made a motion to approve the planned plaza around the dolphin statue and the council approved it unanimously.
“I’ve seen the model and it’s an impressive sculpture,” he said. “I think it’s only appropriate we have an adequate plaza to highlight it.”
City Engineer Terry McGean said staff has been involved in the development process.
“We were involved in it and we’re very confident with where it is going,” he said.