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Summer prep means winter maintenance for many municipal maintenance departments

Summer prep means winter maintenance for many municipal maintenance departments
Summer prep means winter maintenance for many municipal maintenance departments

Boardwalks are a popular symbol of summer, and many people who cruise down them think of warm, carefree days spent walking about vacation town with little to do. But this image is hardly what boardwalks mean for maintenance managers, of course – with so many different boards often near the water, these are subject to a thrashing throughout many years, and need to be vigilantly monitored and taken care of. The costs can be high and the labor may take a while, but it's a necessary task for those in municipal maintenance.

In towns who are so dependent on the features, hopefully local operations will receive sufficient money to their municipal maintenance department to keep the area in great shape. These days, though, most people realize that too often local municipalities have budgets that are far lower than the amount of work demanded truly required. In cases such as this, it's important to do your best to take advantage of any sort of technological tool you can get that will provide with cutting edge help and boost the efficiency of your work, such as computerized maintenance management software.

Your shoes get so hot, you'll wish your tired feet were fireproof
In North Wildwood, New Jersey, for instance, the iconic boardwalks have gone through a beating over the summer and winter, and offseason work is being undertaken to make sure they're ready for their close-up when the warm days of summer arrive once again, according to NBC 40. The maintenance is no small task, as every board much be examined and, if it is in bad enough shape, replaced individually. For Doug Ford, who is the acting superintendent of the North Wildwood Bulidings, Parks and Grounds Department, it's something that has become a winter staple.

"We've torn out and are repairing a section of the boardwalk that was really weak from the weather, the sun," said Ford, according to the source.

Nor is it any one particular season that wreaks such havoc. In the summer, of course, it's hard to do maintenance with so many eager to take a stroll down these boards, but it's not just the traffic that makes the boards take a beating, it's the weather as well. And in the winter, the brutal Northeastern conditions take their toll on the boards as well, according to Ford.

"The wood, we experience more problems in the summer with wood with the heat and the sun," Ford said. "But the concrete can sometimes take a beating in the winter."

Looking for problems at every turn
Roger McLarnon, who is the nearby Ocean City Community Operations Director and City Engineer,  said that he is hopeful the work will be done very soon, potentially each section taking only weeks, according to the source. Yet it's no small process to be constantly vigiliant of these boards, he noted.

"We walk the whole boardwalk, look for nail pops, warping of boards, missing boards, whatever could pose a safety hazard," said McLarnon.

This is a process that takes a large amount of time, labor and in all likelihood a good chunk of their budget. It's vitally necessary, of course, but it may make great demands on all of those in the Jersey Shore area doing condition-based maintenance on their boardwalks – and, of course, anywhere with boardwalks in the world. Asset maintenance management software can help to boost efficiency in nearly any operation, helping to save time and money and make sure you have sufficient resources freed up for your most important tasks.

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