OCEAN CITY, Md. — Phase two of the Ocean City Boardwalk re-decking has begun. The timber from 15th Street to Wicomico Street will be replaced and the project is expected to be completed in early April 2023.
Some people in Ocean City are happy that the second phase has finally started.
“We’re thrilled to see them doing something like this,” Barbara Jones said.
Jones thinks this project will make the walk safer.
“There’s a lot of splintering and stuff that’s not safe because people are going barefoot off the beach, I mean that’s not good,” Jones said.
The project was due to start in 2020, but Covid and timber market volatility caused a delay.
“When Covid peaked, the timber did the same thing and forced us to push the project back a full year to finish it number one, in the off-season and number two, when the timber price was going to drop” , said Paul Mauser.
Mauser is the city engineer for Ocean City, and he said that despite the delay, the project is happening at just the right time.
“The maximum expected life for boardwalk surface wood is 10 years and that’s what we have this time around,” Mauser said. “So it is time for our cyclical replacement of this wood.”
Even with market volatility, the city was able to monitor the price of lumber closely and wait for it to fall within the overall project budget of $2.2 million.
“We just watched closely and were able to get lumber for around $600 per 1,000 board feet for the second phase of the project,” Mauser said.
The city waited for the lumber to fall into the range of $500 to $600 per 1,000 board feet.
The $2.2 million budget for this project is divided into two categories: wood and labour. The labor part ended up costing $1.1 million and the lumber part costing just under $1 million.
Some patient decisions kept this project on budget and back on track for completion before the busy summer season of 2023.