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As Barrier Island Reopens, Rebuilding Continues Where Inlet Formed

Road had been washed out by Sandy

Aside from the image of the Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights lying in the ocean, few images of Superstorm Sandy's wrath were as iconic as the Mantoloking Bridge being dubbed the "bridge to nowhere" after a new inlet formed near Herbert Street in Mantoloking.

But when Brick residents returned to the barrier island Monday morning, significant progress had been made on the destroyed roadways near the base of the bridge.

After Sandy struck, ocean water flowed freely through a newly formed inlet into Barnegat Bay. With it came flood waters that ravaged many mainland sections of Ocean County - especially bayfront neighborhoods such as Shore Acres in Brick.

As recently as 10 days ago, when Patch was granted a tour of the area, no roads had been constructed where Route 35 once ran, with only a cleared sand road acting as access from one side Herbert Street (known as Mantoloking Road on the west side of the bridge) to the other.

The photographs attached to this story show the area currently, and prior to the current roadway construction. The second photo shows the same area as the first, from the opposite site of the intersection.

Leaving the inlet open was not an option, said Brick Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis.

"We would've lost Shore Acres," he said, since water rushing into the bay would have frequently left that neighborhood, as well as others, under water.

After the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plugged the inlet by moving massive amounts of sand to the area to act as fill, a metal wall, as well as a makeshift dune, was constructed to protect what would eventually have to become the roadway again.

By Monday, that new road began to take shape.

State officials confirmed to Patch that crews had begun reconstructing Route 35 in the area of Herbert Street, and asphalt had been laid down.

Photographs showed new traffic lights had been placed at the intersection of Route 35 and Herbert Street, one of two links between the barrier island and the mainland over Barnegat Bay.

There was no immediate word as to when the island would be open to public traffic. Checkpoints are still set up allowing only residents and authorized vehicles to enter the area.

But progress continued island-wide, especially in Brick, officials said.

New Jersey Natural Gas said in a statement Monday that all of Brick Township's portion of the island had its gas service restored.

"For the homes that can safely receive service, meters have been re-built in the section from Downer Avenue in Mantoloking to Dune Avenue in Brick, and from Ocean View Avenue to Jeanette Drive in Brick," the company said.

Residents must now hire their own licensed contractors to determine a home's natural gas equipment is safe for use, and turn service on.

Gas service has been restored to a total of 882 customers on the island, the company said. The first meter to be switched back was Brick's Pioneer Hose Fire Company on Route 35.

Brickresident December 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I bet if you left one of those new inlets open the bay would be more healthy.
wookfish December 11, 2012 at 01:30 PM
never going to happen WM, and Brick,,,you know why?...because that would be the smart thing to do.
Boose December 11, 2012 at 01:33 PM
There was an inlet there prior to the initial development of the island... Nature wants an inlet there, however mankind stands in it's way.
shorefriend December 11, 2012 at 01:44 PM
uhhhhhhhhhhh why is there a picture of a scarry bride in the story?? Is it just me seeing it????
Slippery Slope December 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM
History shows again and again, How nature points out the folly of men.
Slippery Slope December 11, 2012 at 01:47 PM
She was unearthed by the storm.
Brickresident December 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Mother nature will get it right. Only a matter of time. It will open up again, just give it time. I bet the bay was happy as hell during the storm, actually getting some nice fresh salt water going through it.
Jose December 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
If you have enough money in your wallet, you marry an ugly woman and build an oceanfront home where an inlet used to flow. It's the next best thing to constructing a house on a sacred indian burial ground. Polterbride!
1stcav December 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Rename Sandy ..Godzilla and now the bride has some meaning to the story...I Guess !
shorefriend December 11, 2012 at 02:28 PM
LOL!!!!! I just peed myself!!!!
Chief Wahoo December 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Allen Scull, is a very bad man......
bayboat December 11, 2012 at 02:39 PM
If you want to increase the fequency that neighborhoods on the bay flood, then yeah, I guess it IS a smart thing to do!
stuffin December 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult
frank rizzo December 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM
why didnt they just use "slippery slope" to clog up the inlet after all he's dead from the neck up. lol
john December 11, 2012 at 02:48 PM
i wonder what happens to the land where the house s used to stand ? does the land owner rebuild ? i suspect sandy is only the tip of the iceberg for what s in store for NJ coastal area s in the very near future.
Slippery Slope December 11, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Go Go Godzilla.....
Brickresident December 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
bayboat, i guess thats the price you pay for living on the water then eh. The bay is pretty nasty, and taking away its source of fresh salt water washing in affects the bay.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
See above.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 04:26 PM
The "underground pipe" option has been discussed at many hearings, symposiums, etc. on the bay I have attended over the years. While it, indeed, would flush the bay with clean seawater, the flooding would still be severe - you WOULD sacrifice large neighborhoods on the mainland. Also, scientists who have testified (I can look back at my notes and get their names) have also said the contrast would occur in that too much water would drain from the bay at low tide, making channels non-navigable and potentially having a damaging affect on wildlife.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM
You've discovered one of the rare pitfalls of allowing readers to upload photos. It's been deleted.
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
If you're referring to the Cranberry Inlet, it was open for about 60 years (1750 to 1812) and closed on its own. There were massive efforts at the time to keep the inlet OPEN since it was a strategically and economically important port. But all of those efforts failed given the lack of technology and heavy equipment at the time. So in actuality, nature did NOT want an inlet there. Mitchell Ortley (who the section of TR is named after) was instrumental in financing projects to reopen the inlet years after it closed. But he was never able to do so. Every time they got it reopened, it would close on its own in less than a day. I've been planning an article on the history of Cranberry Inlet. There are a lot of misnormers about it (from its location to its history) on which we need to set the record straight.
Cherry Quay resident December 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I feel that having a pipe with a valve to control the water flow, connecting the ocean to the upper bay, will help our dying bay. The bay needs fresh salt water daily; having a pipe will allow a flush of the bay water twice a day and a valve will control the tides.
Rich Wieland December 11, 2012 at 05:12 PM
As a recipient of 3 feet of salt water on Kettle Creek Rd. during the flood, I can attest that it wasn't "nice" or "fresh." It was muddy and brought fuel and oil from wrecked boats, dead fish, driftwood, mold spores and other goodies into our homes. Yes, a new inlet or underground sluice pipe would bring ocean water to the bay (eliminating jellyfish?), but it might need a check-valve or floodgate of some kind -- to limit the bay's depth here by the mainland.
Vera Fozman December 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Water will always seek it's natural path.
Dan December 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
And noone wants their taxes to go up either ... every one has "answers" but no one want to pay for it. And as stated you would lose neighborhoods (mine included) in which case you lose more tax income for the town ...
charlotte December 11, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Great comment Daniel - looking forward to the article.
John B December 11, 2012 at 09:49 PM
If you want the bay in the Mantoloking bridge area to go back to it's "natural state", you need to close the Point Pleasant Canal, not open another inlet. Then, with the Mantoloking River, Kettle Creek, and Toms River runoff, the northern part of the bay will go back to the body of freshwater that it was before the canal was dug. But that won't happen any time soon. The real issue is to find a solution to the nonpoint runoff pollution flowing into Barnegat Bay. But then you need to convince all the green thumbs to stop putting so much fetilizer on their lawns. And that would just be a start. Flushing the bay through a new inlet or a pipe only mitigates the symptom of the real issue of nonpoint source pollution in Barnegat Bay.
Typical Obama Voter December 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM
You mean the Metedeconk River, not the Mantoloking.
Brick Surfer December 11, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Retreat from the coast when it comes to building any HARD structure. The Outer Banks have it right, if your home or business is destroyed by nature on The coast NO ONE CAN PUT ANOTHER STRUCTURE IN ITS PLACE. As someone started earlier, this will not happen as it is LOGICAL.
John B December 12, 2012 at 02:42 PM
TOV, Thanks for the correction. I was typing that out quickly between other tasks.


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