Ocean City Giving South End of Boardwalk a Facelift

Ocean City Giving South End of Boardwalk a Facelift

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The photo shows the transition from the old Boardwalk deck to the new deck at 18th Street during installation over the winter in 2021.

By MADDY VITALE

Taking a stroll on Ocean City’s Boardwalk is a prized feature that not every shore town can boast about.

And that star attraction, not to mention the miles of beaches, make Ocean City an ideal place to live or vacation.

A major Boardwalk reconstruction project was completed in 2018. It resulted in a facelift from Fifth to 12th Streets at a cost of about $10 million.

Since then, the city has been doing periodic maintenance of the wood deck, replacing two blocks of the Boardwalk, where needed, at a time, explained Michael Allegretto, aide to Mayor Jay Gillian.

“Obviously, the Boardwalk is the biggest draw besides the beach in Ocean City,” Allegretto said. “It is always a top priority to make sure it is in the best shape possible.”

The city’s Department of Public Works is doing the work from 18th to 20th Streets.

The Boardwalk gets its share of bicyclists, strollers and beachgoers.

On Thursday, there were new wood boards at 18th Street in major contrast to the weather-beaten boards at both 19th and 20th Streets.

Allegretto pointed out that the work is weather-dependent and that the project began last week.

The Boardwalk is Ocean City’s most heavily visited manmade attraction, with shops, amusements, restaurants and other amenities. It spans 2.5 miles from St. James Place to 23rd Street.

Throughout the summer and into the fall, crowds pack the Boardwalk. There are the strollers, runners, bikers and beachgoers who go on and off the boards countless times in a day.

Wear and tear from pedestrian and bike traffic, along with the weather, can and do take a toll on the walkway.

Even on a cloudy day people enjoy the Boardwalk in the height of summer.

That is why it is so important to make sure the entire Boardwalk is well-maintained and the boards are replaced if needed, Allegretto said.

The redecking is part of a long-term plan to keep the Boardwalk in top shape for tourists and residents, he said.

“Every off-season, we take a two-block section to replace the top planking to make sure there are no issues,” Allegretto explained. “When we pull up the planking, we make sure there are no issues with the substructure.”

He said the redecking from Fifth to 12th Streets has been holding up well against the elements.

“We went with thicker wood than we used before,” Allegretto said. “Overall, the substructure is wearing well, and we haven’t had any issues.”

The weather-beaten boards will soon be replaced at 20th Street.