(Dec.28,2018) After undertaking temporary safety measures this spring to restrict Boardwalk access for vehicles this spring, the two-phase project is on track to be completed next year with the installation of permanent barriers.
Last month, Ocean City Council accepted Hercules Fence’s $1.95 million bid to install vehicle barriers at 26 access points along the Boardwalk and at the inlet parking lot.
In January, the council agreed to pay Hunt Valley-based engineering firm JMT more than $155,000 to begin design work.
At the time, the company was working on a similar project at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. In April, the council selected West Ocean City-based Apex Business Solutions to install the temporary barriers for $139,000 and also earmarked $300,000 in the fiscal year 2019 budget for the second phase of the project.
In July, the council suffered sticker shock after initial cost estimates for the permanent barriers topped $4.2 million, and the began to look at cost-cutting measures, an effort that ended with about $1.3 million was chopped off the price tag. The dozen mechanical gates that could be raised to give access to emergency vehicles was reduced to 10, and switched to a manual means of lifting them rather than power. Also dropped were aesthetically pleasing elements, such as spherical bollards and planters, envisioned for higher density areas downtown.
Assuming the bids come in close to expectations, construction could start this month with a finish date in May.