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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Report details OP actions on pair of bridges

(Aug. 6, 2015) A report released this week on the Ocean Pines Association website suggested the community continues to make its aging infrastructure a major priority, with bridges taking the center stage on the to-do list.
General Manager Bob Thompson originally issued the seven-page memorandum to the board of directors last week, providing what he called a “very high level overview of some of the past and present actions either completed or currently under way,” addressing bridges.
According to the memo, Thompson received a county bridge report on June 23, then met with OPA Public Works Director Eddie Wells and Facilities Manager Jerry Aveeta six days later to discuss a plan.
Ocean Pines consulted a representative from Salisbury firm Davis, Bowen & Friedel on June 30, then received a proposal to “contract immediate bridge repairs” from the firm on July 20. Thompson apparently met with Davis, Bowen & Friedel again on July 24 and 30.
A topographic survey was conducted on July 10, and Thompson met with the Worcester County Public Works Director John Tustin as well as Roads Superintendent Frank Adkins on July 15 to discuss a bridge replacement program. Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino was also present during the meeting.
A July 16 letter that Tustin sent to Thompson provided more information on the previous day’s meeting. According to the memo, Davis, Bowen and Friedel used 2013-14 biennial bridge inspection reports by Gannet Fleming to create designs for the eventual replacement of bridges on Ocean Parkway and Clubhouse Drive. The letter went on to say Adkins would provide contractors who would “make the immediate safety repairs recommended” in the 2013-14 reports.
The Gannet Fleming study gave a “fair” grade to the Ocean Parkway bridge’s desk, a “poor” grade to its superstructure, a “satisfactory” grade to its substructure and a grade of “good” to its channel.
Inspection findings for that bridge concluded that several concrete beams had deteriorated and were in poor condition. Bridge rails did not meet SHA standards, and the top rail on the west side was missing “at least 50 percent” of its length with rotten posts.
Repair recommendations included replacing the bridge at a cost of $244,800. Total repair recommendations amounted to $313,900.
The Clubhouse Drive bridge received “fair” grades to the deck, superstructure and substructure, and a “good” grade for its channel. The report listed deteriorating channel beams and timber railings that did not meet SHA standards as concerns.
Recommendations included scheduling a bridge replacement for $270,000, with total repairs costing $325,350.
The memo said funding for outright replacement of the bridges would be determined at a later date based on available aid from the Maryland State Highway Administration. It also appeared the county would speed the permit process once Davis, Bowen & Friedel finished replacement designs.
At a board meeting on Thursday, Thompson said the community has worked at an accelerated pace in the days after receiving the county’s report.
“We’re going after [repairs] now, and we’re also looking long-term for replacement,” Thompson said.  
Board President Dave Stevens said the state could reimburse up to 80 percent of replacement costs for the two bridges.