Ocean County will spend more than $1.4 million to build a new fishing and crabbing pier, a bathroom facility, and other improvements on its part of the old Traders Cove Marina site at the foot of the Mantoloking Bridge in Brick.
With the work not scheduled to be done until the end of the summer, the county property will be closed during construction, according to Michael Mangum, director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
“It’s too small an area to keep open safely’’ while the work is being done, he said.
Freeholder John C. Bartlett, Jr. said the county partnered with Brick Township to buy the site, in part so it could meet its obligation to use the western end of the old Mantoloking Bridge as a fishing pier.
Brick got the bulk of the site and has its own plans for its use, Bartlett said.
County officials created a walkway under the new Mantoloking Bridge to get to the fishing pier created when part of the old span was left standing, he said.
Since then he said the site has been heavily used, although Mangum said “it looks like a gravel pit right now.’’
“It’s a great place to sit and watch the world go by. I’m not sure how good it is for fishing and crabbing,’’ Bartlett said of the old bridge.The new fishing pier will be built on concrete pilings and situated closer to the water, he said. Bathroom facilities will be provided at what has been rebranded the Mantoloking Fishing Pier Park, although it is on the Brick Township side of the bridge over Barnegat Bay.
An improved parking area, picnic tables and improvements to the driveway shared with the township are also in the plan.
“It’s at the end of the Mantoloking Bridge,’’ Bartlett said of the name for the park.
“There’s been some tug back and forth with the DEP’’ over development of the site, he said.
The Department of Environmental Protection wanted a narrower pier than the one eventually approved. The county wanted to use wooden pilings. The state insisted on concrete. At first the DEP didn’t want a pier at all, saying it would shade the part of the bay that is under it, he explained.
On Wednesday, the freeholders are scheduled to award the contract for the work, a $1,422,994 contract to Let It Grow Inc. of River Edge, the low bidder.
“It will look like a small Berkeley Island,’’ when the work is done, Mangum said.