(Nov. 2, 2018) With cost estimates for Boardwalk barricades reduced by an additional $100,000, the Ocean City Council issued a call for bids this week for the installation of permanent vehicle barriers at access points along the 2.9-mile promenade.
City Engineer Terry McGean provided a project update, including a Nov. 13 bid due date, during the City Council work session on Tuesday.
“We had a pre-bid meeting yesterday and we had relatively good attendance,” he said. “Assuming the bid goes well, we would look to start construction in December and be done by no later than May 17, 2019.”
In July, the council suffered sticker shock after initial project cost estimates topped $4.2 million, with additional engineering alternatives chopping about $1.3 million the following month.
The intent is to erect permanent barricades at 26 access points along the Boardwalk and at the inlet parking lot to deny entry to anyone who might attempt to drive on the boards, which in the summer draws tens of thousands of people.
“The design remains the same as originally presented back in August using a combination of bollards, manual gates and a railing system,” he said. “If you recall … we had not chosen the railing system.”
After examining various railing options, McGean opted to base the bids on a post and cable fence, intended to secure the inlet parking lot.
“I think it has a nice nautical, open feel to it versus just the steel bar,” he said. “They’re very easy for the system to be maintained, you can simply unbolt the cable.”
In light of the ocean environment, McGean said another benefit is a corrosion-resistant PVC rail coating.
“One of the problems we had with the Jersey barriers is people sitting on them [and] leaving … cups,” he said. “Obviously, you will not be able to sit or leave trash on it.”
McGean also said the post and cable fence represented a lower cost solution compared to other options.
“We have reduced the cost by $100,000,” he said. “Don’t count those chickens until we get the bids in, but we’re going in the right direction.”
The vehicle barrier project will eliminate 21 parking spaces up and down the Boardwalk, McGean said.
“Three of those are paid and the remaining 18 are currently free,” he said.
Councilman Tony DeLuca asked if the installation of cigarette receptacles on the way to Boardwalk could be done in conjunction with the vehicle barrier work.
McGean said the possibility had been discussed and remains viable.
“There are areas on the street ends where these things are going in that will create a median or shoulder between the end of the street and the Boardwalk,” he said.
DeLuca said with construction work slated to begin in December, sufficient time exists to confirm if grant funds are in hand.
McGean said related materials would need to arrive before the concrete work, which is among the last tasks to be completed.
“By March, you’d want to have your material in, so we could work those in as we do the site restoration,” he said.
Mayor Rick Meehan asked if agreements have been reached with several private businesses whose locations allow potential Boardwalk access for vehicles.
Despite having one arrangement yet to finalize, McGean said the issue is resolved.
“Two of them were the same owner, and those were the big ones, and that owner has been very cooperative, and we have signed agreements already,” he said.