It only took five years for a multi-government bike rack project to finally get off the ground to help alleviate traffic congestion in the Downbeach area. Installation on the long-promised bike racks started last week at locations in Ventnor and Margate.
According to Margate Zoning Officer Roger McLarnon, “they are nearly done,” he said Monday morning.
“It was not a large project but involved several levels of government, including the federal government, which requires lots of paperwork,” he said.
The project went out to bid twice since the project was approved in 2016. The first time, the contractor realized how much paperwork was involved and withdrew, McLarnon said. Then there were delays in receiving materials to manufacture the steel racks, and the federal government’s requirement that the design contractor and installation contractor be separate entities, he said.
“It required a lot of time and effort for a not-so-extravagant project,” he said.
Ventnor and Margate were jointly awarded the $275,000 federal Bicycle Infrastructure Grant funded through the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration’s $1.9 million allocation to the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization for fiscal year 2017.
The cities were awarded the funding, but Atlantic County government was responsible for grant management. In the end, contractor R. Maxwell Construction Co., Inc. of Pleasantville was awarded the contract and is finishing up installation of 208 bicycle racks in business districts and residential neighborhoods based on the needs of each community. Margate was set to receive 131 customized bike racks, while Ventnor would get 77, although those numbers have been pared down.
Margate’s bike racks will be located at beachfront street-ends, Lucy the Elephant, and 17 other locations along Ventnor and Amherst avenues, the Martin Bloom Pavilion and the Sigmund S. Rimm recreation complex on Jerome Avenue. Adjustments were made to the promenade locations, McLarnon said.
Ventnor Public Works Supervisor Ed Stinson said the installations would start in Margate before moving north to Ventnor.
According to Atlantic County Public Information Officer Linda Gilmore, all the bike racks and hardware have arrived, and racks have been installed in Margate. Some in Ventnor that do not require pouring concrete bases have been bolted in, she said.
Ventnor will install bike racks at five business locations, six in the City Hall area, and eight at the city’s recreational complex at Titus Field. A bike rack location was also added on N. Weymouth Avenue.