OCEAN CITY, Md.- Phase II of Ocean City's boardwalk restoration is now well under way, as crews work to wrap up the project this spring. While Hurricane Sandy may have knocked progress back a couple days, town officials say they are still on track. Yet, the storm did create the need for another restoration project.
The iconic fishing pier near the Ocean City inlet was battered by Sandy. So much so, it is no longer usable. But steps are already being taken to fix it back up.
A little wind and rain Tuesday didn't stop several fishermen from trying their luck in the inlet. Thomas Lee, of Columbia, Md., was in town helping with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. In the aftermath of the storm, fishing off the pier is no longer an option.
"I believe Ocean City can recover from hurricane damages and I'm sure the city can rebuild the fishing pier so that people can come over and enjoy fishing," Lee said.
The pier is a franchise, so getting it repaired is up to the franchise operator. Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says the owner has already begun ordering materials, with a goal of restoring the pier in time for the 2013 season.
That is music to David Wong's ears. He has been visiting Ocean City for the past 30 years.
"I think that the fact that they're going to try to have it fixed by the summer is a great thing, you know, the tourism industry here in ocean city relies a lot on the fishing and the landmarks that they have down here," noted Wong.
And on the boardwalk, reconstruction efforts have barely skipped a beat. Workers are busy laying the framework and drilling down boards.
"Most of the people that are walking by tend to think that it's, where it's torn up, is a result of Hurricane Sandy, which it's not," remarked Mayor Rick Meehan. "We're tearing up a portion of the boardwalk, we're putting in new concrete stringers, new pilings and then we're coming back and putting the wood planking on top of that."
Phase II of the boardwalk project is on track to wrap up by late March.
Meehan says as long as there is no unanticipated weather this winter, he is hoping both the boardwalk and fishing pier projects will be completed in time for summer visitors in Ocean City.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:44 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:44:04 GMT
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