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NBCPhiladelphia.com - Cydney Long
Residents of Margate, and Longport, N.J., were allowed to return to their homes Thursday to assess the damage and clean up. LBI and points north, Atlantic City and Ventnor were still not allowing people back in Thursday night. NBC10's Cydney Long talked to residents in Margate, as they pick up the pieces.
Folks returning to Margate and Longport to survey possible damage done by Sandy got a rude welcoming in the form a toll on the main bridge into town Thursday.
The privately-owned Margate Bridge charged the $1.50 toll despite being one of the only ways onto Absecon Island since travel bans remain in effect in neighboring Ventnor and Atlantic City -- where free access routes like the Dorset Avenue Bridge remain closed.
The public quickly turned to social media to complain about the bridge collecting tolls from people possibly returning to damaged homes and businesses.
Due to the public outcry the folks at the bridge company made all tolls free of charge through Saturday night at 6 p.m. On top of the free ride, the bridge company also announced that all tolls collected after the travel ban was lifted on Margate and Longport Thursday would be donated to the American Red Cross’ Sandy relief efforts.
"The decision we made to charge when they came back was wrong," Roger Hansen, president of the Margate Bridge Co., told the Inquirer Thursday night. "We made a mistake, and we've corrected it."