(June 28, 2019) Recreational boaters launching from the 64th Street boat ramp will have improved access to the bays following the recent completion of an adjacent dredging project.
City Engineer Terry McGean said the improvements included dredging the channel from Assawoman Bay heading east to the 66th Street canal and the adjacent boat ramp.
Earlier this year, Ocean City Council awarded a contract to Brittingham Construction & Landscape for just over $138,000 to complete the project.
McGean explained although the channel serves the 64th Street boat ramp it is actually situated between 64th and 67th Streets.
The cost to dredge the channel had no impact on the town’s bottom line, as McGean said the work was financed solely with a grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The 64th Street boat ramp was opened in May 2017 and is located at the intersection with Seabay Drive.
McGean said past challenges involved addressing a “deep hole,” which formed directly offshore in the bay that many vessels had a difficult time navigating from to open waters.
While state dredging restrictions would have normally prohibited grant funds from being awarded for the project, McGean said those parameters were lifted due to a previously existing marked channel that filled with sediment over the years.
The ability to document the former channel’s location enabled the city to qualify through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for grant money, McGean said.
The channel is now permanently marked to ease navigational concerns for boaters headed towards the open bay, McGean said.