A popular fishing pier made out of the remnants of the old Mantoloking Bridge will remain closed all summer, county officials confirmed. But when it reopens, there will be a new pier installed, improved parking and amenities at the site.
Just before the Memorial Day holiday, anglers hoping to hook a striped bass, bluefish or summer flounder - all abundant near the pier - were met with a barrier and signs warning to stay out. The county-owned pier - a section of the old Mantoloking Bridge that was kept intact as a fishing area when the county built the current bridge several years ago - will remain closed until sometime in the fall, according to Michael Mangum, director of the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation.
"We just don’t want anyone getting hurt over there," Mangum said.
Those who fish off the pier, which is situated on the southwestern side of the bridge, park across Mantoloking Road on a county-owned lot that backs up to the former Traders Cove Marina. That parking lot will be improved and expanded and will be outfitted with a picnic area and restrooms, Mangum said.
In March, the Ocean County freeholders authorized $1.4 million to fund the improvements at the site.
The new fishing pier will be built on concrete pilings and situated closer to the water, Mangum .
Anglers looking for a place to fish while the Mantoloking Road pier is under construction aren't totally out of luck. Those seeking to wet a line can travel to the north end of town and fish in the Manasquan River off a pier that was built on the southwest side of the Route 70 bridge, beside the River Rock restaurant.