OCEAN CITY — The major rehabilitation of the aging wooden cart bridges at the municipal Eagle’s Landing golf course was expected to wrap up soon under budget.
During a committee meeting this week, Recreation and Parks Director Susan Petito announced the cart bridge rehabilitation project at Eagle’s Landing was expected to be completed by the end of this week. Last year, it was learned many of the cart bridges at the 30-year-old municipal Eagle’s Landing course had fallen into disrepair and were in urgent need of replacing with an estimated project cost of $230,000. Replacing the bridges was included in the town’s capital improvement plan (CIP) last year and was given a “very important” rating in the Mayor and Council’s priority grading system.
Through a competitive bidding process, a wide range of bids for the bridge replacement project were obtained, the lowest of which came in at around $134,000, or significantly lower than the original expected cost. On Tuesday, Petito told the recreation and parks committee the project was near completion with even more good news.
“They’re almost at the end of completing the bridge project and it may be finished as early as tomorrow [Wednesday],” she said. “It was a great project and it came in under budget. There is around $23,000 left over and we’d like to spend that money at the golf course and take care of a couple of things that won’t need to be in next year’s budget.”
Petito explained the bulkhead on hole number six was in need of replacement at an estimated cost of around $5,000. She also said the department wanted to have a consultant draft a master plan assessment for a redesign of some elements of the golf course at a cost of around $2,250.
“We’d like to bring in a design group to assess the golf course and look at some of the drainage issues we’ve been having,” she said. “That course is 30 years old and we’re having some flooding issues on some of the bayfront holes.”
However, Councilman and committee member Mark Paddack said there was likely little interest from the Mayor and Council in investing in a major assessment plan for the course.
“I’m not sure you’re going to get the council to go along with a major master plan for the golf course,” he said. “It’s just not going to get any traction right now.”
Paddack suggested some of the drainage issues might be due to the county’s new spray irrigation system at the golf course, but Petito said that wasn’t the case and the drainage issues on certain holes were related to tidal flooding. She said those issues might be resolved by elevating the course in those areas, but it would take a consultant to determine the best course of action.
“That golf course was built 29 years ago at a relatively low cost, so there were probably some things overlooked in terms of drainage and flooding in some areas,” she said. “That being said, they’ve done an amazing job with that course over the last 30 years. It’s just beautiful, but it’s starting to show its age in some areas.”
Petito also dismissed the idea the flooding on certain holes, particularly holes seven and 10 with tidal influences, represented a slight inconvenience for golfers.
“It’s more than just the golfers getting their feet a little wet,” she said. “We have to spend a lot of time and money because of the flooding on those holes.”
The committee voted to send a favorable recommendation to the full Mayor and Council for allowing the department to utilize the money left over from the cart bridge replacement project on other projects at Eagle’s Landing.