By MADDY VITALE
The busy tourist season, when throngs of visitors and residents head to the Boardwalk to enjoy amusements and shops or lounge on the beach before a dip in the ocean, is just months away.
And Ocean City will be ready.
In a continued effort to make visiting or living in Ocean City as convenient and enjoyable as possible for everyone, the city is adding seasonal bathrooms at three Boardwalk entrances and more Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant ramps in the few areas that do not have them yet.
While bathrooms may not be the main priority when planning a family trip to the beach, it helps to have as many as possible when strolling down the long stretch of Boardwalk, especially when there are young children involved, city officials pointed out.
That is why the city is expanding the Boardwalk at Ninth, 10th and 11th streets to make way for pop-up seasonal bathrooms.
There is a temporary restroom at 11th Street that currently looks similar to a tiny house. The pop-up bathroom will be removed to add new decking there and then a restroom will be put back there, Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen said Monday.
He said it is important that Ocean City guests are provided with clean and convenient bathrooms.
“The expanded decking at these three street ends could accommodate more permanent structures, if usage this summer warrants it,” Bergen noted. “The work will be done in time for the season.”
Construction bids for the new bathrooms are scheduled to be opened on Tuesday. City Council could award a contract, at the earliest, on Feb. 27.
Contractors would then do the work in the spring, with the bathrooms ready for the summer vacation season.
“Everything should be in place by summer,” Bergen said.
Mayor Jay Gillian reported on capital improvement projects during his Mayor’s Update on Jan. 31.
One of the projects involved additional ADA ramps.
Specifically, before the summer, the city will install ADA ramps leading to Waverly Beach, which is off E. Atlantic Boulevard, and to the Boardwalk at St. Charles Place.
“The city remains committed to improving accessibility whenever possible,” Gillian said in his update.
Over the past two years, city officials have made it a priority to improve accessibility and offer conveniences to the Boardwalk and beaches. Workers have installed ADA ramps over bulkheads and at Boardwalk entrances.
“All Boardwalk entrances are now accessible by ramp, and there are only a few beach entrances that require climbing stairs,” Bergen added.