North Gate Improvements Continue In Ocean Pines

North Gate Improvements Continue In Ocean Pines
File Photo

OCEAN PINES – A discussion on lighting, cost estimates and lane expansions highlighted an update on North Gate bridge improvements.

In a meeting of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors last week, General Manager John Viola presented an update regarding ongoing improvements to the North Gate bridge.

In November, the board agreed to changes at the northerly 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 removing the guard house, located between the span of bridges.

“As you know, we took down the guard shack,” Viola said. “The price pretty much came in-house at $2,500 to remove it. It was completed somewhere around the first week in February.”

Viola told board members last week plans for the North Gate bridge include adding six light poles on each side of the bridge, as well as lights on the bridge’s four outer corners.

He said the association had received one bid of $45,707 to replace and add lighting to the bridge. He noted installation and labor was expected to cost an additional $10,000.

“We do plan to get two other bids, but as I said we have received one bid already and we’re excited about it,” he said. “Hopefully we are able to go forward with it.”

Viola explained the association was also working with the Maryland Department of Transportation to extend the bridge guardrails. He said he and his staff are also exploring the possibility of adding a third lane.

“One thing in taking down the guard shack is looking at the width and what exactly we have there with the bridge,” he said. “These are high-level, 40,000-feet things we are talking about, and that is what we would need to do if we proposed or looked at putting in another lane … I hope to have more on that for discussion going forward.”

Viola last week also updated the board on a project to add a wall, closet and doors to the Clubhouse banquet room.

“Basically, this has all been done in-house with public works,” he said. “The projected cost with materials … is coming in around $15,000. We are working on that as we speak.”

He also explained plans to add a mobile audio system to the banquet room.

“If we decide, after this is all tested – and I do want to go through a testing process – we can possibly move it to the (Community Center) Assateague Room if we want to move a board meeting or have it there. Also, by doing that there, we believe we’ll probably come in $1,000 less than what was budgeted for this project, which was about $14,000 or $15,000.”

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.