As it has for the past two years, the Ocean City Boardwalk will be split in two starting next week.
The third phase of a multi-year Ocean City Boardwalk reconstruction project will begin immediately after Columbus Day Weekend, Ocean City Finance Director Frank Donato reported at a business summit on Tuesday.
The work will replace the entire substructure and decking of the boardwalk between Plaza Place (just north of Seventh Street) and Eighth Street.
A similar project last year took four months — with a block and a half of the boardwalk closed from mid-October to mid-February.
Pedestrians and cyclists likely will be detoured off the Boardwalk at Eighth Street, down to Atlantic Avenue, and back Sixth Street. The detour will add about 0.41 miles to a run the length of the boardwalk (from 2.45 miles to 2.86 miles). Runners could also venture onto the soft sand to cut the distance.
The project work runs only in the off-season and began at Fifth Street in fall 2013. It will continue from Eighth Street to somewhere past the Ocean City Music Pier (2016-17), Music Pier to somewhere past 10th Street (2017-18), and to the finish at 12th Street (2018-19).
Walters Marine Construction of Ocean View underbid the contractor for the first two phases of the project, Fred M. Schiavone Construction, and eight other companies with a winning bid of $1,888,347. The project will include adding two more access points for the disabled and a new pavilion on the ocean side of the boardwalk.
The project calls for the use southern yellow pine for the decking. The city has long sought an alternative to pine for its boardwalk. The soft wood splits, cracks and exposes nails or screws after relatively short periods of time. The city has studied and tested many alternatives but has found none both suitable and cost-effective.
But the pine that will be used is thicker (three inches) and sturdier that the pine used on other sections of the boardwalk, and the recently completed sections of new boardwalk have held up well.
Treated wooden pilings will replace the crumbling concrete substructure of this part of the boardwalk.
In a separate update, Ocean City officials have participated in a pre-construction meeting, and work on a federal Army Corps of Engineers beach renourishment project between Seaspray Road and 14th Street or 15th Street is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of October.