Ocean City Approves Study of Street Flooding Between 26th and 34th Streets

first_imgBarricades block access to Simpson and Haven avenues at 32nd Street in Ocean City — a common precaution in many storms each year.City Council voted unanimously Thursday to award a $44,720 contract for an engineering study of one of Ocean City’s most flood-prone neighborhoods.Before summer, Michael Baker International Company will provide recommendations for remediating drainage problems in the low-elevation area bounded by 26th and 34th streets, West Avenue and Bay Avenue.The city has included the area in a capital plan that commits $29 million to road a drainage improvements over the next five years.The resolution passed with little fanfare — two weeks after it was tabled at the last City Council meeting.“I don’t want to hold this up,” Councilman Keith Hartzell said.He asked for assurances from the city administration that studies of other flood-prone areas (including the blocks near 15th and Haven, and 10th Street to 12th Street on Haven, and 24th Street and Haven) be studied within a reasonable period of time.“I’m confident we’ll get some proper engineering studies done in short order,” Council President Tony Wilson said.Wilson and Hartzell said they had met earlier this week with members of the O.C. Flooding Subcommittee of Fairness in Taxes who have been pushing for a comprehensive plan to address all of Ocean City’s flooding and drainage issues.Fairness in Taxes President Michael Hinchman was the only person to speak in public comment. He urged City Council to seek firm dates for the completion of drainage studies in other areas of town. He also asked the city to at least start work now on the permitting process for a potential bulkhead surrounding a flood-prone area near 50th Street and Haven Avenue.The engineering work approved on Thursday will include field visits, a review of existing conditions, preparation of a report (including estimated costs, design schedules, permitting requirements), presentation of recommendations to the public and project management.Baker is the same firm that met with neighbors, conducted a study and made recommendations for improvements in the nearby Merion Park neighborhood, where a comprehensive drainage project that included pumping stations was recently completed.The new project area sits in a low-lying corridor that includes Haven and Simpson avenues and routinely floods — not only in storms and tidal events, but in heavy rain and even on sunny days (with tidal waters flowing backwards through the storm drain system).Sign up for free breaking news updates from Ocean City.Get Ocean City updates in your Facebook news feed. “Like” us.last_img read more