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Route 35, Mantoloking Bridge to Reopen Today

Christie has approved barrier island repopulation plan

Starting Monday, the public will once again be able to drive over the Mantoloking Bridge and on Route 35.

The state of emergency that barred public travel over the bridge and on the state highway will be amended as of 7 a.m., meaning travel on the barrier island – which has been restricted to limited visits by residents and authorized individuals – will be allowed for the first time since Oct. 29 when Superstorm Sandy rolled ashore.

Residents will also be able to allowed to live in their homes on a full-time basis.

The repopulation plan, which was jointly signed by the mayors of Brick, Toms River and Seaside Heights, received approval from Gov. Chris Christie's office on Friday afternoon. Residents in all of those towns, with the exception of the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, may repopulate.

In Brick, the repopulation plan comes with several restrictions, including a 25 m.p.h. speed limit as well as a nightly curfew from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Side streets as well as the oceanfront will be off-limits to the public.

Brick Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist said the curfew covers pedestrians only, and Route 35 will be open as it normally is.

Travel will be possible from Herbert Street in Mantoloking through Seaside Heights. There was no word when Route 35 would reopen north of Herbert Street through Mantoloking and Bay Head.

Ken Popek January 07, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Typical response from the snobs of Bay Head. They use federal money to fix up the beaches and then claim them as their own. They pass parking restrictions so people have no access to the beaches. How are you supposed to use the beach when you have no way to park your car? I say, don't give them a damn penny. Let them pay to fix the beaches themselves. They are hell bent on making sure the rest of us don't get to use them. You reap what you sow.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 04:44 PM
John - Brick does have private beaches as well as beaches with only private access. This is going to be an issue we'll examine in an upcoming article. Our Toms River site has done a few great articles on this topic, since they've already had discussions with property owners there on this subject.
Scott Wright January 07, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Dan I have lived here for 15 years I do no know of a private beach Please name it for I am curious. Access is another issue all together
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 06:55 PM
John - The private beaches are scattered along the approximately 3.5 miles of oceanfront on Brick's portion of the barrier island.. These beaches are generally owned/run by private beach associations, which reimburse the township for lifeguard services each year. There is no public access allowed to these beaches, as some streets and (mostly) all entryways are privately owned. For example, Normandy Beach is one of the communities where the beach is not public: http://nbianj.org/beach-rules
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 07:03 PM
For the record, the town put up a protective berm at these beaches, but Brick officials cannot legally restore these dunes unless easements are signed and something is worked out in terms of public access. That debate has already begun in Toms River and will soon follow here.
Y'all Crazy January 07, 2013 at 07:11 PM
I feel bad for the people who lost a lot. But a lot of you need to step back into reality. You act as if people coming to witness what had happened on the barrier islands are coming to ruin your lives. Y'all acting like little hobbits sometimes.
Jose January 07, 2013 at 07:15 PM
John Q. Every development including bay and riverside have private beaches. I belong to Cedarcroft Club. It is a PRIVATE beach which requires membership.
Brick Surfer January 07, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Bay Head has some of the highest daily fees with the least amount of services, lack of parking not with standing! Mantoloking is no better. I wonder if the folks that refer to their Brick addresses as "South Mantoloking", are able to return to their homes.
Brick Surfer January 07, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Public Trust Doctrine allows unfettered anyone access to ANYONE, at anytime of year. These people that block access are doing so illegally. This I am sure will come to light as the summer rolls around. Beaches in other states do not restrict access as much as NJ does, if at all.
pam arboreen January 07, 2013 at 07:50 PM
what are the conditions around market st and herbert st?????
WMS826 January 07, 2013 at 08:23 PM
You people all make me sick acting as if it is a crime for the public to come and see what happened to the island. All the while you want public donations and tax money to flow into your hands yet nobody is allowed to see for themselves what they are supposed to donate to or have our officlals spend money on. Nobody died in these areas except for the Brick man who drowned in his home. So why is this such hallowed ground to anyone. Please do not tell me none have you ever went to ground zero where we lost 3000 Americans at what is now the biggest tourist spot in Lower Manhattan. Please do not tell me none of you ever took pictures there either. Someone tell me how Po Dunk Jersey Barrier Island somehow supercedes The World Trade Center site as well as The Pentagon. Next you will want a memorial to your damaged property errected.
bodo784 January 07, 2013 at 08:47 PM
No need for all of you to get so nasty to each other. Time to pull together as a community, or groups of communities and support each other. Stop the fighting and comments. Everyone has enough negative going on in getting beyond the losses and devastation. Smile, and help your fellow neighbor/New Jersey lover.
Scott Wright January 07, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Dan, just 2 quick points any person can walk on the beach and sit wherever they want on the beach, If people tell you can’t they are lying and do not know the law. I live on that section of beach you talked about and that is the way it has always been. I am almost 100% certain we have never reimbursed the town for anything. It is the access that is the issue. We all know that most people think it is the rich people keeping people away. Well, here are a few other ways to look at the access. I think we all believe the bay is open to anybody so why can’t I walk across your private property to enter the bay. How about in Mantoloking Shores area? I will not stay on your property I just want to get to the water with my Kayak, paddle and swim for a little while then walk back across your private property and go home. I know there are many other public access points to the bay but I want to enter on your private property. How about if you lived next to a park? It’s easier for me to walk through your private property to access the public area then to drive or walk around to the public access point. Same with any river or other public area. As far as I know, not many people would like to have random people walking through their yard to access a public area. Just another way to look at it.
Scott Wright January 07, 2013 at 09:51 PM
Brick surfer, name me another place where you can indiscriminately walk through somebodies private property to get to the beach? In Florida, North and South Carolina you walk through a public access point and swim same as in NJ. In Bay Head and Mantoloking you cab do that today same as Florida.
Brick Surfer January 07, 2013 at 10:24 PM
@Jon Q- it is not the access over someone's property that is the issue, it is the states responsibility to create access points for the public to get to the ocean. Hawaii has such laws that require access to the beach every1/4 mile. The path need not be more that 5 feet wide, but it needs to be there. Oh, and by the way, there is no fee or badge required to access the most beautiful beaches in the USA., in Hawaii that is.
Scott Wright January 07, 2013 at 10:48 PM
http://beachaccesshawaii.blogspot.com/2012/12/oahu-beach-access-map-online.html?m=1 I think access every 1/4 mile not bad idea if available with parking and bath rooms. Hawaii is a recommendation not law according to this web site. Little research shows if you build a new subdivision you need to provide public access Pas the sand las in NJ makes sense
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 10:50 PM
John, you are partially correct. What you said is true in certain areas, but not in others. It depends on the tax maps and deeds for these locations. The Public Trust Doctrine has been interpreted by many, many court decisions both here in New Jersey and on the federal level, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In some areas the entire beach (though not the access point) may be public. In others, public property is dependent on mean high/low water marks. (As a side fact, in Hawaii, the law actually states the line is where seaweed historically washes up at high tide.) The bottom line is that properties are unique, and the issue here is less the beach itself and more the dunes. Public money, legally, cannot replenish private dune areas or private beaches. There are also access easements that will be required. Colloquially, a "private beach" is one that the public does not own and cannot access due to private property ownership, even if the public trust doctrine would hold that a certain, small section below mean high water technically IS public.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 07, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Also, John, the private associations most definitely reimburse the township for lifeguard service. It's in the budget every year. Here is a copy of the 2011 agreement which was approved at a council meeting. I happened to have this one bookmarked, but there was a similar agreement in 2012: http://www.twp.brick.nj.us/library/217/Resolutions/5-3%20Auth%20Agreement%20-Private%20Beach%20Association%20Life%20Guarding%20Services.htm
Scott Wright January 08, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Dan sorry totally misunderstood your comment I think it would be bettef said certain associations pay the town to do their lifeguard services They pay for the services makes perfect sense Our group pays a private service. I agree private property owners should rebuild their dunes town and state should not pay Our group paid to have our own dunes rebuilt a few years ago Not a penny came from state or town
KingNeptune January 08, 2013 at 01:06 AM
All this bickering over dunes, access and beach fees. I hope the states takes over the whole barrier island, demolishes all the homes and sends all the elitists DBs back to north jersey where they belong. Make it a public park/beach, that the public can enjoy.
Scott Wright January 08, 2013 at 01:28 AM
KN this is not bickering it is having a honest discussion about private property rights. Can I walk through your yard to acces the public street by your house?
Brick Surfer January 08, 2013 at 02:14 AM
@JohnQ- I stand corrected. I see that the date of the article you referenced was 12/22/2012, and when I lived there in the 80's, the common thought was that this was actually the law. As your link pointed out, it is just a guideline, but I disagree with the thought that bathrooms and parking are necessary, as towns would find a way to charge you for those as well as to access the beach. Towns like Bay Head and Mantoloking don't want you on the beaches of their town if you can't walk to the beach. That is why the parking restrictions are so tough. Not too mention the FACT that you can't bring a cooler with food or drink onto the beach, and there are NO lifeguards there. So why are their fees so high? They clearly provide the beach goer with little to no services for which they charge so much money. And no rebuttal for Beach fees on arguably the nicest, cleanest, best guarded beaches in the country? Just pull up to the beach and enjoy nature at no direct cost to the end user. What a novel idea!! Too bad NJ has gone down the path of letting these towns fill their coiffures with all the beach badge money over the years, only to squander it on the usual graft and corruption that plagues our towns and local governments.
Donald Fagen January 08, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Whoa. Throwing a 9/11 comparison into your argument is pretty convenient, huh? I'm not getting how your logic works out though. Do we want a memorial, or do we not want the public presence like at Ground Zero and the Pentagon? Your argument suggests we want both. Also, donations would be unnecessary if the island were completely owned by the federal government (like the Pentagon) or completely zoned and ideal for commercial uses (like the WTC). Unfortunately, homeowners can't pull from a national defense budget or lease a floor of their house to Conde Nast in order to recoup their losses. "Biggest tourist spot in Lower Manhattan"? Have you seen Magnolia Bakery on a Saturday afternoon? "3000 Americans" didn't die so you could use them to tenuously support your flawed argument.
Donald Fagen January 08, 2013 at 10:00 AM
lol... "erected"
thomas January 08, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Well said Glenn
RiverLiving January 08, 2013 at 11:11 AM
As a owner of waterfront property, i agree with most of you that public money should not be used to fix dunes and beaches, it should be up to the owners. If the beaches were private then the owners should pay. You have enjoyed the beach all these years without public interference, then you should pay, but not in femma loans or grants. It's time for these people to put up or shut up, if they cant afford it, then make it public.
Scott Wright January 08, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Brick Surfer in response to beach badges Taxpayers are paying for the services in Hawaii Somebody has to pay. Beach badges was a way that I thought would let the people who use the beach pay. As many people have stated let the people who are affected pat not come out if general fund. Maybe higher fees for a few years to pay for clean up.
Eileene Hutchinson January 08, 2013 at 06:53 PM
EH We had a home in Shore Acres which was destroyed by Sandy. We are now living in PT PL and find it necessary to go to our house almost daily BUT we can't use RT 35. I don't understand why it is still closed through Bay Head and Mantoloking. What is the reason?
North Jersey January 15, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Betty Get over it, the barrier Islands need people to come back, or they will not survive, no one wants to take pictures of your devistation, we all feel terrible about what happened, but we love the shore also, and want to see it come back ASAP, you guys need people to come back, even if it's site seeing right now,
KB January 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM
I am a year round resident in Point Pleasant who has traveled Rt 35 to Brick and Toms River instead of Rt 70. It is the shortest route to many of my destinations. My husband and I are members of The Surfrider Foundation and have worked side by side with families who have lost their homes and are trying to get them back. We are volunteers doing back breaking work. Even though we're in neighboring towns, we are strangers. You won't recognize me as I drive along Rt 35, or stand alongside you at the supermarket for the hundredth time. So please don't assume I'm a gawker and I won't assume you are. Deal? I don't want anything from anyone.

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