All lanes now open on Rt. 71 bridge over Shark River

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BELMAR — All lanes on Route 71 have reopened to traffic following repairs to the drawbridge over the Shark River between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea, according to the  New Jersey Department of Transportation [NJDOT].

Route 71 was closed early Wednesday morning, Sept. 22, when the bridge became stuck in a partially opened position. NJDOT officials said that a malfunction caused minor damage to steel below the roadway surface on one side of the bridge, resulting in the partial opening. Worked were able to open it fully by afternoon, so marine traffic could pass underneath.

By Thursday afternoon, Sept. 23, temporary repairs enabled the reopening of the bridge to automotive traffic, limited to one lane in each direction, as a work zone was maintained in the center. On Monday, Sept. 27, NJDOT announced a determination that the temporary repairs were “sufficient to fully reopen all lanes safely with no restrictions.”

A permanent repair is still scheduled to be performed in early 2022.

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