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Should The Beesley's Point Toll Bridge be Converted Into A Public Fishing Pier

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been following some comments from a
local fishing legend (Lou Rodia) over the
last few weeks.
About how the County & Municipalities should
do more to ease access for fishermen.
A Big Topic (Access)these Days....Right ?

Here's the Deal,

Bridges & Fishing go hand in hand.Fish congregate
around structure.Supports which hold up bridges
put structure into places where there may once
have been barren bottom.Barren bottom does not
hold fish.Pilings and other supports change
things immensely.It gathers marine growth.
Marine growth attracts bait fish.Close behind
comes predator fish to feed on the bait......

That being said,the importance of making access
available to anglers where it is feasible becomes
an important part of the mix...

Numbers tell us the reason.Given the nation's
total population and figures handed us by various
agencies,over 1/3 of the countrys population
fishes-some casually and many,extremely dedicated
to their sport.If those numbers hold for Cape
May & Atlantic County,it then stands to reason
that a substantial number of us have a interest
in fishing...

Which brings us to my Topic in this Poll...
The Beesley's Point Toll Bridge.
The Rte.9 Flat Bridge that connects the
two Counties over the Great Egg Harbor Bay..
Just recently this bridge has been closed
due to it being unsafe for motorist and
financial hardship to the owners....

Converting portions of the Beesley's Point
Toll Bridge into fishing piers could be an
important contribution to the econimic well-
being of the whole area if and when a decision
to close the present bridge to vehicular traffic
ever becomes a reality...

No one has suggested closing the bridge just
to make it into a fishing pier.But if nothing
is said or done to keep the fishing pier idea
on a front burner early on,we may lose a
valuable asset somewhere down the line if
the bridge is ever abandoned...

So What Do You Think?
Should The Beesley's Point Toll Bridge
Be Converted into a Public Fishing Pier?



Thanks In Advance for Your Votes.....
 

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Strikes,
I voted yes, but it really depends what kinda pier. If it's like the Delores Cooper pier..NO.
The new pier at the longport,O.C bridge ...NO.
The water under the North side of the Beasleys pt bridge is really shallow for a long distance. It's a waste when they make these piers in such shallow area's, such as the two piers mentioned above.
If they were to make it near the channel, then yes. Another shallow water plank...No.
For the recoed I've alway's done MUCH better at the smaller bridge before the big one. :D
 

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I voted yeas also but I think that the problem that the owners are having will also be a reason for the state to close it down. The state would have to supply some funds to keep it safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Eelball,
very true, I agree.................

JerseyJoe,
You may very well be right..They already
took some money from the State and they
are still in trouble.......
 

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I would vote yes, but there is something about sneakin out and catchin fish in places you shouldn't be at - but if it is to remain up and standing we have got to push for the public pier thing.
 

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Rather than have the bridge torn down, I would prefer to have it made into a pier. However I would never fish there. I'm more drawn to the "hard to get to ", sneaking around the marshes at night spots. Once the city puts up a trash can and porta-potti it kind of kills some of the thrills I go fishing for.
 

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I have a condo on Amelia Island in Florida..several years they replaced the bridge from Amelia Island over the Nassau Sound...after much discussion it was decided to retain much of the old bridge as a fishing pier...it has worked out great and had the added benefit of saving the money that would have been spent on demolition...in fact the bridge reminds me of the Beesley's point bridge...could be a great addition if done correctly....but then again this is NJ...the State that cant shoot straight..LOL
 

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I heard that there will be no way they can close that bridge permenatley,due to the fact that it's a U.S. Highway.I have a feeling that the state is gonna be suckered into taking it over!!!We will have to wait and see!!
 

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I voted NO. The reason being I live about 4 minutes from the bridge. I have fished under/around it for 30+ years. I know the bridge very well. It is a POS waiting to fall into the water and someone, even an innocent fisherman standing there with his rod and perhaps kid is going to either become seriously hurt or killed. The bridge needs a new bridge. The road portion, top of bridge, is falling apart and I am to understand a fire company was not long ago called to an incident that occured on the bridge and some firemen were actually stepping through the road surface (deck) and could have become injured. The statement about the owners of the bridge having financial hardships is highly subjective and another topic altogether in itself. :rolleyes:
 

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Appreciate your honesty, did not know it was that bad. Maybe after some repairs it would still be functional, or just leave it as structure. I have heard before that the great Al himself has seen fish bigger than his record around that area, so it would be a shame to lose it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by PROFINITY:
The statement about the owners of the bridge having financial hardships is highly subjective and another topic altogether in itself. :rolleyes:
posted June 17, 2004 10:43 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Leaning pier closes Beesleys Point Bridge

By MICHAEL MILLER Staff Writer, (609) 463-6712, E-Mail-Press of Atlantic City

UPPER TOWNSHIP - The Beesleys Point Bridge closed Wednesday afternoon, a day after an old concrete piling beneath the span partially collapsed and threatened to fall on one of the steel support beams.

The state Department of Transportation dispatched engineers to Upper Township on Wednesday to inspect the toll bridge and determine how to remove the crumbling pier, Commissioner Jack Lettiere said.

The old concrete piers are remnants of the bridge's original 1920s superstructure but are no longer functional or attached to the bridge. The damaged pier, which shifted by 8 feet, did not harm the bridge's structural integrity, Lettiere said.

"The bridge itself was not in danger of collapse. But if this old pier were to fall even farther, it could damage some of the steel structural members," Lettiere said.

An employee with the Garden State Parkway noticed the leaning concrete pier on Tuesday and alerted the Beesleys Point Bridge Company and State Police in the Woodbine barracks.

Lettiere said that at 10:30 or 11 a.m. Wednesday the company was advised to close the bridge. Co-owner Stephen Hankin said he ordered the closure around 1 p.m. as a precaution after his inspectors evaluated the situation.

But traffic was still crossing the bridge at 4:30 p.m. Lettiere said traffic would be detoured to the parkway on both sides of the Great Egg Harbor Bay.

"It's a very temporary closing. It's not due to any structural problems," Hankin said. "We just want to make sure an old piece of concrete does not fall against the foundation."

Hankin said he hoped to reopen the bridge by Friday. The span's drawbridge continued to operate for boaters.

For years, the Beesleys Point Bridge Company has been trying to sell the span, claiming its toll receipts were not keeping up with maintenance and repair costs. But the DOT has been adamant that it will not endorse a public takeover of this Route 9 toll bridge that links Atlantic and Cape May counties.

Two local lawmakers introduced a bill last month requiring the state to intervene if the bridge company files for bankruptcy and closes the span. But under a state takeover, taxpayers would have to spend $20 million for repairs just to bring it up to state standards, the DOT said.

Lettiere on Wednesday said the company would pay for the emergency work.

"Our position remains the same," Lettiere said. "It's a privately held bridge. We had an agreement with these folks. They promised to keep this bridge for 20 years. It's still their responsibility to do so."


Hankin declined to comment on the latest negotiations with the state. Lettiere said he planned to meet with the bridge owners soon
----------------------------------------------.
Beesleys Point span a bridge over troubled waters By MICHAEL MILLER
Staff Writer, (609) 463-6712/ACPRESS

UPPER TOWNSHIP - The state told a private bridge company Monday to keep the Beesleys Point span open or repay nearly $1 million to taxpayers.

The state Department of Transportation, or DOT, also rejected an offer to take the bridge - for free.

In a letter Monday to the bridge owners, DOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere said he would rather close the bridge altogether than invest more taxpayer money to benefit a private enterprise.


"NJDOT does not have the financial means to continue to underwrite repairs on a privately owned bridge, which does not have a unique or extraordinary public purpose," Lettiere wrote.

Lettiere said the company was obligated to ensure safe marine traffic through the drawbridge if the span closes. The DOT and State Police are ready to post detour signs and divert motorists now, he said.

Bridge co-owner Stephen Hankin had asked the state for $2 million to make immediate repairs. He also invited the state - or anyone else - to take over the struggling bridge's operations.

In 1997, the state spent $900,000 for repairs with the stipulation that the company keep the span running for 20 years. Under the agreement, the bridge company would have to repay the grant with 2 percent interest if the bridge closes.

Hankin declined to comment on the state's response Monday. In an interview last month, he said the company was facing the prospect of filing for bankruptcy.

DOT officials on Monday said the state has $40 billion worth of projects that take priority over any of New Jersey's three privately owned spans. If the state were to assume ownership, the bridge would need $15 million in immediate repairs and $5 million in electrical upgrades to bring it up to state code, officials said.

Any municipal or county agency that took over the bridge would face a similar obligation, the state said.

The Upper Township Committee endorsed the company's fund-raising efforts. But Mayor Richard Palombo said the committee was acting on behalf of beleaguered motorists who already face summer gridlock in Marmora.

When construction begins on the Route 52 causeway between Somers Point and Ocean City, many motorists likely will cut through Upper Township's Roosevelt Boulevard. Roosevelt Boulevard at Route 9 is already the busiest county intersection in Cape May County.

Palombo urged the state to spend the $20 million in bridge repairs on a full interchange at Seaville's Exit 20 of the Garden State Parkway.

[ 07-31-2004, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Now that's not subjective. Came right from the horses mouth.

Med

I fished that bridge. Caught the hell out of the blues on livelined mullet. Also did well with trout fishing the small creek on the right there as you go from Amelia Island and over to next town south.
 

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The subjective part is these guys claiming they don't have the $$$$. Let me put it this way, the fellow doing the talking for the BPB ain't poor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Profinity,
I would have to agree with that statement...
Will see what happens........
I am just always looking out for the land based
fishermen..

Thanks for your imput here....

Take Care,,,

[ 08-01-2004, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Originally posted by PROFINITY:
The subjective part is these guys claiming they don't have the $$$$. Let me put it this way, the fellow doing the talking for the BPB ain't poor.
Obviously you have an inside scoop


Thanks, good info
 

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Harold Katz is one of them I hear. Remember how great he was for the sixers
 

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I voted yes but I doubt it is feasable unless they did a complete reconstruction of the section to be used as a pier. That bridge is so unsafe that it is not fit for any use other than an artificial reef. Take a ride under it by boat, you will see what I am talking about. I also pity the person who leans against one of the railings up there.

I dont think it should ever be reopened to vehicle trafic in its present condition. Even if they fix the concreat pier that collapsed there are at least 50 more just like it ready to do the same thing. The steele supports that are beside the colapsing concreat piers are in very bad condition and the next time a concreat pier collapses it could lead to a tragic result. They got lucky this time.

[ 08-02-2004, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: fisher224 ]
 
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