OC Approves $1.9M Bid For Boardwalk Access Control Project

OC Approves $1.9M Bid For Boardwalk Access Control Project
As part of the project’s first phase, a gate and associated concrete barriers are pictured near the Boardwalk in the Inlet parking lot last summer. Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – Resort officials this week awarded a $1.9 million contract to Hercules Fence for the second phase of the Boardwalk access control project.

In a work session earlier this month, the Mayor and Council received and accepted four bids for the second, and more permanent, phase of the Boardwalk access control project and remanded them to staff for further review.

At this week’s meeting of the Mayor and Council, Procurement Manager Catrice Parsons presented a staff recommendation for the project.

“Staff has reviewed the bids and is requesting Mayor and Council to award the Boardwalk Access Phase II project to Hercules Fence in the amount of $1,954,380,” she said.

Last year, resort officials began exploring ways to ramp up security at access points along the Boardwalk where unauthorized vehicles could enter. As a result, the town launched a phased project that would implement a series of permanent and semi-permanent barrier systems, from gated access points to concrete planters and bollards.

Resort officials completed the first phase of the project ahead of this year’s summer season as a stop-gap measure of sorts by installing temporary gates and barriers at the Boardwalk’s most vulnerable areas. Now, resort officials are looking to implement a second and more permanent phase after months of planning and redesigning.

City Engineer Terry McGean told the Mayor and Council earlier this month the second phase of the project was budgeted at around $2.9 million. Yet when bids were opened at the work session, most were at or near that threshold.

Hercules Fence submitted a bid for $1,954,380, Apex Business submitted a bid for $2,051,000, Atlantic Fence submitted a bid for $2,838,747 and Harkins Contracting submitted a bid for $3,368,191.

Parsons added that the bid from Hercules Fence included contingency items for a powered gate system at four locations along the Boardwalk – the Inlet and Dorchester, 3rd and 26th streets.

“I wanted to make a note that there were some contingency items in regards to the power gate,” she said. “Staff is requesting to come back later after some additional discussions have been had to decide if we want and request to approve the power gate.”

Councilman Tony DeLuca made a motion to award the contract to Hercules Fence and Councilman Mark Paddack seconded the motion.

Paddack noted, however, that Hercules Fence was not a local contractor. Councilman John Gehrig agreed with Paddack’s point.

“I looked up Hercules and they appear to be an extremely thriving business,” Paddack said. “They are doing extremely well out there in the business world. They’ve got locations all over Maryland. They had the lowest bid. However, the second-lowest bid in this process was Apex, which happens to be a local contractor, a local taxpayer, a local resident. Apex did not get the contract, but Hercules did.”

Apex’s bid came in at $2.01 million while Atlantic Fence bid $2.8 million and Harkins Contracting estimated the job at $3.3 million.

After further discussion, the council voted 5-1, with Council President Lloyd Martin absent and Gehrig opposed, to award the bid to Hercules Fence.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.