All pilings and stringers are in place, and a small section of decking is the only thing left to be completed before the full length of the Ocean City Boardwalk is restored.After about three months of work, only a small section of decking remains before the second phase of a boardwalk reconstruction project is complete.The boardwalk was barricaded at Fifth Street and Seventh Street in October, and a block of boardwalk was demolished and removed as part of the second phase of a multi-year project to replace the boardwalk between Fifth Street and 12th Street.This phase covered the section between Sixth Street and Plaza Place (just north of Seventh Street).The project was expected to be complete by the end of March, but it appears to be well ahead of schedule. Lampposts are lying on the boardwalk ready for re-installation.The project includes reconfiguring the boardwalk ramp at Sixth Street, eliminating the north ramp and widening the south ramp. The access ramp for the disabled remains in place, leading to the municipal parking lot between Fifth and Sixth streets.Pedestrians and cyclists have been detoured off the Boardwalk at Seventh Street, down Wayne Avenue, through the municipal parking lot between Sixth and Fifth streets, and back to the boardwalk at Fifth Street since mid-October. The detour adds about 0.17 miles to a run the length of the boardwalk (from 2.45 miles to 2.62 miles)._____Sign up for free daily news updates from Ocean City._____City Council last summer awarded a $1.2 million contract to Fred M. Schiavone Construction of Malaga to complete the work. Schiavone was the contractor for the first phase of the project between Fifth and Sixth streets and for the new Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway.Council has authorized spending up to $1,825,000 on this phase of the project, though the final construction costs are not in .The project used a stock of southern yellow pine that has been stored in Ocean City since the settlement of a lawsuit with the Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Co. of Baltimore in 2009.The city has long sought an alternative to pine for its boardwalk. The soft wood splits, cracks and exposes nails or screws after relatively short periods of time. The city has studied and tested many alternatives but has found none both suitable and cost-effective.But the existing stock of southern yellow pine is thicker (three inches) and sturdier that the pine used on other sections of the boardwalk, and the city administration says it is “optimistic” that it will hold up much better.Treated wooden pilings replaced the crumbling concrete substructure of this part of the boardwalk. (At the City Council capital plan workshop on Thursday, Ocean City resident Michael Hinchman asked why the city would not consider using fiberglass pilings, which he said would add infinitely to the estimated 50-year lifespan of wooden pilings.)At the same workshop, Mayor Jay Gillian’s administration proposed doubling the pace of the multiyear project, completing two blocks each year and finishing in the winter of 2017-18. A project to rebuild the Ocean City Boardwalk between Sixth Street and Plaza Place is near complete.