North Gate Bridge, Mailbox Improvements Underway

North Gate Bridge, Mailbox Improvements Underway
APictureOfDeconstructedGuardHouse byBethanyHooper

OCEAN PINES – As association staff continue to remove the North Gate guard house, General Manager John Viola said he will move forward in seeking estimates for new bridge lighting.

In November, the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors agreed to improvements at the North Gate entrance after fielding homeowner complaints about its dated appearance. In addition to power washing the bridge, officials also presented plans for adding new light fixtures and potentially removing the existing guard house, located between the span of bridges.

In an update last week, Viola told board members that association staff had begun taking down the structure.

“We did the work in-house,” he said. “It’s pretty much almost completed, probably in another week or so. The cost, in-house, is around $2,500.”

Viola added that he was also looking to replace the guard house with another centerpiece.

“We did look at possibly some ideas, and I’ll work with a work group and anybody that has ideas of what they would like to put there,” he said.

Viola told board members he would also seek their approval for the installation of new bridge lighting. He said the idea was to put taller light poles at each end of the bridge, as well as new lighting to replace the old globes along the bridge span.

“We would take them and remove them, we would cut down the wooden poles that are there and then put up these new poles that would match the four larger poles at the beginning and end of the bridge,” he explained.

Viola said the next step would be to seek cost estimates for new lighting and move forward with the plan.

“This is a step in the right direction to start improving that bridge,” he said.

Also in last week’s board meeting, Viola presented plans for improving the appearance of the association’s mailbox clusters.

Viola noted staff would create a priority list for replacing concrete pads at the mailbox clusters and identify the next 10 locations for which to begin work. He added the association had also identified roughly 100 mailbox pedestals that needed to be replaced, at a total cost of $50,000. The improvements would be funded through the maintenance budget.

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.