TOMS RIVER - The eastbound lanes of the Thomas Mathis Bridge reopened Sunday afternoon, in what has become synonymous with the beginning of the vacationing months in New Jersey.

The bridge, completed in 1950, connects Toms River to Seaside Heights. It was forced to close during the summer months for repairs in 2015 due to damages sustained in Superstorm Sandy.

Since then, traffic in both directions has been forced to use the westbound J. Stanley Tunney Bridge.

Construction on the Thomas Mathis Bridge is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018.