What to Know
- The Townsends Inlet Bridge will reopen Thursday at 6 p.m.
- The 1,373-foot span closed last April for emergency repairs.
- Drivers do not have to pay tolls from Thursday, July 25, to Sunday, July 28.
The bridge that connects the New Jersey shore towns of Sea Isle City and Avalon has reopened after months of repairs and delays — and without tolls for the first weekend.
The Townsends Inlet Bridge in Cape May County reopened Thursday at 6 p.m. with a go-kart ride to mark the occasion.
"Way too long," that's how Sea Isle City's Barry Smith describes the about 10-month closure.
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Drivers do not have to pay tolls for the weekend, a county spokeswoman told NBC10.
The 1,373-foot span closed in September, after last summer season, so that repairs could be made to railings after an underwater inspection of bridge pilings found structural damage.
It was set to open in time for the 2019 summer season, but in April, a delay was announced.
The reopening of the bridge will help remedy traffic caused by people taking alternate routes to the beach cities in the time since the closure began. It took up to 30 minutes to go around the closure.
The bridge is also used by cyclists riding along the Jersey Shore.
"Now to be able to ride all the way from Strathmere all the way to Stone Harbor, it's a dream come true," cyclist Steve Ritter said.