Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County remains closed as Memorial Day weekend approaches

Belmar Mayor Jerry Buccafusco says he’s seen some progress being made on the hydraulic work that is being done. He says it’s been happening even more quickly than he expected.

Tony Caputo and Lanette Espy

May 20, 2024, 9:47 AM

Updated 23 days ago

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It’s just one week before the unofficial start of summer begins and an important Jersey Shore bridge remains closed to commuter traffic.
The Route 71 bridge that connects Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea closed back in March for drawbridge emergency repairs.
However, there is some hope that the Route 71 Bridge over the Shark River will be fully operational soon. Belmar Mayor Jerry Buccafusco says he’s seen some progress being made on the hydraulic work that is being done. He says it’s been happening even more quickly than he expected.
“I don’t know if I’m being overly optimistic, but I think I’m optimistic that we’ll see it open Memorial Day. But if not, hopefully very soon after that,” Buccafusco said.
Route 71 bridge in Monmouth County. Monday, May 20, 2024. (News 12 photo/Tony Caputo)
Another ray of hope that the bridge may reopen sometime this weekend came from employees at Robin’s Nest Diner. Employees told News 12 New Jersey that some bridge workers have hinted the work may be completed by the holiday or perhaps shortly after.
There has not been any word from state officials on a date for when the bridge is reopening.
A free shuttle bus began on May 1 to include nine stops run by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The shuttle was started to help residents and business owners who have been experiencing travel issues since work began on the bridge.
The bridge remains open to boat traffic. However, business owners in the area have told News 12 New Jersey that business is down as much as 40% due to the bridge repairs.
News 12 reached out to the Department of Transportation for an update on when the bridge is expected to reopen for commuter traffic.


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