Public Works Campus Ribbon Cutting Planned

Public Works Campus Ribbon Cutting Planned
Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins led a tour this week of the city’s new public works campus. Photo by Shawn Soper

OCEAN CITY — Resort officials this week got their first look at the town’s new state-of-the-art, $25 million public works campus at 65th Street with a walking tour in advance of next week’s formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Following Tuesday’s Transportation Committee meeting, Public Works Director Hal Adkins led a thorough walking tour of the new facility on the bayside roughly between 64th and 65th streets adjacent to the Public Safety Building. Adkins and the public works department have been working for a decade on the plan to substantially expand and upgrade the midtown campus, the centerpiece of which is the hub for the transit department.

After roughly a decade, the public works department has recently started to move into its new digs and the complex was a hub of activity on Tuesday morning. The project came with an estimated price tag of around $25 million, of which the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on the hook for about $14 million, with the town responsible for the remaining $11 million, although there were some change orders and other adjustments along the way.

What was not included, however, was the multi-story parking garage on a parcel just to the north of the Public Safety Building. The garage would have supplied parking to the many employees at the complex with an air bridge connecting along with a midtown helipad. When the bids for that portion came in much higher than anticipated, the portion of the project was scrapped, but could be added at a later date.

Otherwise, the midtown public works campus will house the town’s entire bus system. There is an entry area where municipal buses returning from their shifts can be cleaned and serviced and the money collected deposited in a secure area. From there the buses will move into a vast garage roughly an acre in size where they will be lined up for future deployment.

There is also a huge garage for the town’s buses, police cars, public works vehicles, trash trucks and other vehicles for repairs. The vast complex also includes satellite areas for the police department, a midtown location for the beach patrol, an area for emergency services and other departments. It also includes a holding area for use by the Department of Juvenile Services for juveniles who find themselves in trouble and cannot be mixed with the adult population in the cell areas of the Public Safety Building.

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for next week with Governor Larry Hogan, high-ranking state transportation officials and local officials expected to be in attendance.

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.