Flood improvement work to start in late winter
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OCEAN CITY — A $4 million drainage and paving project in a low-lying neighborhood near the center of town is set to start in February or early March, according to Mayor Jay Gillian.

Gillian said the city recently opened the project for public bids. The project to replace and reconfigure drainage and repave roads between 26th to 34th streets from Bay to West avenues was initially slated to start in December.

The job was held up as the city awaited one final permit near a runway at the Ocean City Municipal Airport, according to officials.

Michael Baker International, the engineering firm handling the project, told residents in an August town hall meeting to expect drainage and paving work between Bay and West from 29th to 33rd streets. Gillian said at that meeting that unless officials can add to the project and still stay within budget, the city could not afford to work on every street in the project area.

“If we can get great bids and we can add to it, we’re going to do everything we can,” Gillian said in a Press in Atlantic City story. “That’s the whole idea here. We’ve got to start something.”

The project also includes adding pump stations at Bayland Drive near Clubhouse Drive, 28th Street and the bay, 26th Street at the airport and a centralized station on 30th Street and Haven Avenue.

In an update posted Friday, Jan. 6 to the city’s website, Gillian said the bulk of the drainage work, including installing the pump stations, should be complete by Memorial Day, but paving work is expected to continue into July.

The engineers working on the project have said the job will help improve nuisance flooding from rain, but officials have stressed that the project will not stop a tidal flood.

“I’m excited to know that shovels will be in the ground early in the year for this long-awaited project, and I’m confident that even neighbors beyond the immediate project area will see the benefits,” Gillian wrote Friday. “I look forward to seeing the project through and continuing to provide relief to all parts of Ocean City.”

Andrew Parent can be reached at aparent@catamaranmedia.com or 609-365-6173.