More Ocean City Public Works Campus Upgrades Approved

OCEAN CITY — The next phase of the complete overhaul of the town’s public works campus was approved this week including a new parking lot and guard house.

The town’s Public Works Department has been working with the Maryland Transit Administration for a decade on a plan to substantially upgrade and expand Ocean City’s public works campus along the bay roughly from 64th to 67th streets. The public works complex, which includes administrative offices, bus and transit equipment storage and fueling, solid waste, maintenance and a myriad of other services, was last upgraded over three decades ago in 1983 and the department has outgrown the aging facilities.

Because the public works complex needs to remain open during the renovation, the project, with an estimated price tag of around $25 million, is being completed in phases. On Tuesday, Public Works Director Hal Adkins outlined the next phase, which includes a new parking lot and guard house facility. The entire project is being funded through a partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) with the state on the hook for around $14 million and the town responsible for the remaining $11 million.

The next phase presented on Tuesday was estimated at around $1.6 million, but Adkins explained the lowest base bid came in at a little over $1 million with an ad-alternative totaling around another $300,000. Adkins recommended approving the roughly $1 million base bid while reserving the right to proceed with the ad-alternate at a later date. The council ultimately approved the recommendation.

The original plan for this phase included an elevated parking garage with an emergency helicopter pad on its roof, an alternative earmarked 197A. However, that proposal came in well over budget and was nixed from the overall project. Instead, Adkins explained the recommendation was to move forward with the next phase labeled 197B.

“The last time we discussed this we talked about 197A and 197B,” he said. “197A included the elevated parking garage with the helicopter pad, but that was determined to be way beyond our budget. The recommendation today is to move forward with 197B.”

The MTA has to approve the roughly $1 million bid for 197B, which is expected to be a formality and may have happened already. Adkins said once the MTA approves the low bid, the next phase should begin.

“The dirt is about to fly once we get the notice to proceed,” he said. “The plan is to have this phase completed by the end of April or the beginning of May. As soon as we complete the parking lot, we can start moving police cars over there.”

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.