OCEAN CITY — Getting in and out of the relatively new public boat ramp at 64th Street could get a little easier this summer after resort officials this week awarded a contract to dredge the canal near the approach to the facility.
The Mayor and Council this week awarded a contract to the successful low bidder for dredging a canal roughly between 66th Street and 67th Street that serves as a conduit from the public boat ramp at 64th Street to the deeper water in the back bays behind the resort. The project, which is funded completely by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), was budgeted at $200,000, but the contract was awarded to the successful low bidder who came in at $138,000 for the project.
While the agenda item was billed as a bid award for the dredging of the boat ramp at 64th Street, City Engineer Terry McGean explained the project essentially entailed an area just north of the boat ramp’s location.
“The channel in question does serve the boat ramp, but it’s actually between 66th and 67th Streets,” he said. “We did dredge the boat ramp, which gets you to that deep hole, but there were times when there was no way to get to open water.”
McGean explained the dredging project was funded by the DNR because the channel in question had been officially marked prior to the project.
“The good news is it is being 100-percent funded by the DNR,” he said. “The channel was marked, so we were able to get approval from the DNR and also the MDE [Maryland Department of the Environment.] The contractor is already doing our canals, so it should be an easy transition for them.”
The new boat ramp opened before the start of the summer season in May 2017. The two-ramp facility is located at 64th Street near the town’s larger public works complex at the base of the water tower in the area. The public boat ramp will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
The new boat ramp at 64th Street replaced 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 After years of wrestling with an outdated and over-utilized public boat ramp in the Little Salisbury residential area, along with complaints of traffic, parking, noise and litter, the town identified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.