US beach money forces Mantoloking to give more parking near coast

Mantoloking will soon have to create more parking along the shore as part of a deal with the Army Corps. of Engineers to build dunes Mantoloking will soon have to create more parking along the shore as part of a deal with the Army Corps. of Engineers to build dunes
MANTOLOKING -

One of the biggest obstacles to public beach access in New Jersey may be coming to an end.

An Ocean County community that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy may drop drastic limitations on street parking that made it impossible for outsiders to use its beaches.

“Our dunes got washed away. We do have the steel wall, thanks to the state, it helped us put that in,” says Councilman Chris Nelson. “But people still want to see big dunes in front of that and a larger beach.”

Mantoloking proposes dropping its longstanding law limiting parking to no more than two hours because the federal government is insisting on more parking as a condition of spending tens of millions of dollars on a beach replenishment project in town.

“We’re putting parking down Route 35 on the eastside between Herbert Street and Lyman Street,” Nelson says.

Mantoloking is also looking into building gates at the base of all beach access points that lead directly onto Route 35 to protect any children that may come running off the beach.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it will insist on similar parking and access guarantees at other beaches as well, potentially challenging or ending some of the most restrictive policies that shore towns have used to keep outsiders off their sand.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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