OCEAN CITY — The new public boat ramp at 64th Street in Ocean City is expected to break ground this month with a targeted completion date before the next summer season.
During a larger discussion of the proposed $25 million expansion and improvement project for the town’s public works complex last Tuesday, City Engineer Terry McGean told the Mayor and Council the long-awaited public boat ramp along the bay in the adjacent area is expected to break ground next week. The council on July 12 accepted the low bid from Murtech Marine of $714,849 for the construction of the new public access boat ramp at 64th Street. The project was originally budgeted for roughly $1.5 million with the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) funding 100 percent of the needed dredge work to facilitate the new ramp up to $500,000 and 50 percent of the site work up to $315,000.
The new boat ramp at 64th Street will replace the town’s only other existing public access boat ramp in the Little Salisbury area. After years of wrestling with an outdated and over-utilized public boat ramp in the Little Salisbury residential area, along with complaints of traffic, parking, noise and litter, the town identified the site at 64th Street as a more appropriate location for the city-owned boat ramp because of it is surrounded by commercial and governmental uses and is located closer to the center of the resort.
Councilman Wayne Hartman questioned the design of the ingress and egress points for the new boat ramp trailer parking areas and wondered if it was too late to make any tweaks to the design.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen it and I see some challenges with that,” he said. “I have some concerns, but if we’re breaking ground next week, I guess that’s going to be the design.”
McGean assured Hartman the final design carefully considered all of the challenges with ingress and egress, the floating of boats on the ramp itself and the parking of trailers.
“The concept is to enter westbound on 64th Street, pull around, drop the boat off and then loop around again to pick up the boat,” he said. “Will there be some people challenged by that? Absolutely. For some people, it’s just as hard to tow jet skis as it is the Queen Mary.”
McGean said some tweaks could be considered if challenges arise, but didn’t envision any major overhaul on the eve of the ground-breaking.
“I see what you’re saying,” he said. “We can take a look at some of those things, but it is bought and paid for.”
With the project set to begin as early as next week, a tentative completion date has been set for April 1, 2017 although the timetable is subject to change.