More Coastal Highway Repaving Planned After Year Off

OCEAN CITY — Resort residents and visitors will get a reprieve with no major paving projects planned this offseason, but they will likely return in the spring of 2018.

The Mayor and Council on Tuesday got a briefing from State Highway Administration (SHA) officials on a variety of projects planned in the coming months. Through much of last winter and early spring, the north end of Coastal Highway underwent a major paving project from 62nd Street to the Delaware line. On Tuesday, SHA District Engineer Donnie Drewer told the council the next major paving project in Ocean City is tentatively set for spring 2018 when a vast section of Coastal Highway from 62nd Street to 26th Street will be milled and repaved.

“We’re going to do the same thing for this section as we did this year on the north section to the Delaware line,” he said. “We’re going to give them a drop dead date to be done by Memorial Day weekend in 2018. We’ll have it all paved and ready to go.”

Last spring, SHA conducted a major milling and repaving project on the north end of Coastal Highway in both directions. Coastal Highway from 62nd Street to the Delaware line was completely milled and repaved as part of SHA’s ongoing enhancements along the resort’s main drag.

Drewer said on Tuesday the mid-town project would be advertised in October 2017 and go out to bid in November 2017 with a notice to proceed and begin the actual milling and repaving set for February 2018.

When SHA and its private contractor undertook the major repaving project on the north end last winter and spring, a completion date was promised before Memorial Day. Crews worked around the clock in some cases to meet the target date and it actually came in ahead of schedule around May 19.

As usual, the weather will likely dictate the schedule for the next major paving project in the spring of 2018, but SHA officials are again expecting a completion date before Memorial Day.

Also as usual, the contract for the next phase from 62nd Street to 26th Street will likely include language restricting work during certain times. For example, the contract for the north-end section prohibited work during St. Patrick’s Day weekend or other weekends when the resort is hosting vehicle-related special events such as Cruisin’ or spring Bike Week, for example.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.