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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was comming back from back bay striper trip this morning and noticed bridge up. Closer look, I saw the problem.
Looks like top of concrete area broke apart. Looks like more than just a duck tape repair.

Had a great morning in the back getting bass on fly and plugs. All the fish were schoolies 18 to 21 inches, but alot of fun on the light tackle.
 

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WOW! Thanks for that report.
 

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I tried to get from my place in the Crest to North Cape May and encountered the "Bridge Closed" sign. I was wondering what was going on.

I wonder if they'll let us fish off it while its closed??? ;)
 

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I wonder if they'll let us fish off it while its closed??? :D :D :D
 

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This is a secondhand account from me, so I may have screwed it up a little......

A friend of mine was anchored up by Lund's and saw what happenend. A large trawler came out of the creek on the Crest side, across from Lund's. He lost control somehow trying to get through the bridge, the boat rocked sideways, and the outrigger (large) hit the portion of the bridge shown in the above picture. It bent the outrigger as well. Apparently the boat kept going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought I heard a big bang earlier, but didn't think anything of it. That was probably what I heard. I guess the papers will report on how long it will be till they repair it.
 

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From the AC Press:

Lower Twp. bridge struck by fishing boat
By JARRETT RENSHAW Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015

LOWER TOWNSHIP - An 84-foot commercial fishing boat struck the Middle Thoroughfare Bridge on Sunday morning, forcing the drawbridge to remain in an open position, authorities said.

Sunday's accident will keep motorists searching for alternative ways to get from the Diamond Beach, Wildwood Crest area to Lower Township, Cape May County until at least sometime today, officials said.

The Kathy Rose, a scallop boat, struck the bridge at about 9 a.m., according to officials from the U.S. Coast Guard in Cape May.

With investigators still at the scene Sunday, it remained unclear how or why the boat hit the bridge. However, authorities did say that investigators boarded the boat, found no immediate concerns and sent the boat on its way.

The bridge opens about 7,500 a year, according to the Cape May County Web site.

Christopher Lee Rose, of North Carolina, owns the boat, and Rose Benny is the operator, authorities said.

Police suggested motorists traveling to the area take the George Redding Bridge, which connects with the Garden State Parkway.
 

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Can someone please email me and let me know when the bridge is in working order. I have to cross that bridge to get to my boat everyday when I am fishing (Thurs-Sunday). Thanks.
 

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Stuck in the middle again

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

LOWER TOWNSHIP - Dale Foster was in church Sunday when his beeper started buzzing. A fishing boat had struck the Middle Thorofare Bridge.

Cape May County's engineer excused himself and drove through Cape May to find the drawbridge raised in its perpendicular position. The bridge will stay that way for at least another three days, Foster said.

With the buckled concrete, it was obvious to the drawbridge operator that the deck would not close.

A departing fishing boat, the 84-foot-long Kathy Rose, struck and cracked a protective concrete wall. The county Monday hired Agate Construction of Dennis Township to remove and replace the damaged concrete. The work will keep this span, also called Two Mile Bridge, closed for at least the next three days, Foster said.

The U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating what caused the Kathy Rose to strike the bridge. At its narrowest, the channel is only 50 feet wide, Foster said.

"Wind and tides can make it tricky. When you're trying to get a vessel that wide through a 50-foot opening, wind and waves can affect the precision," Foster said.

The Coast Guard boarded the scallop boat Sunday to perform a fisheries law-enforcement inspection, Petty Officer John Edwards said. The boat did not suffer any structural damage and nobody was hurt, he said.

"Everything on the boat was in compliance. They let the vessel go on its way," he said.

The channel is open to all marine traffic. The Coast Guard's marine safety office is inspecting the bridge, Edwards said. In the meantime, the Coast Guard is broadcasting a message to inform boaters about the full-time opening.

Foster is an expert on bridges. It helps in a county surrounded on three sides by water. The county is performing maintenance on the Roosevelt Boulevard Bridge into Ocean City. The Beesleys Point Bridge, which is privately owned, has been closed since summer.

"Lately, I've spent quite a bit of time on bridges," he said.

The county eventually plans to replace Middle Thorofare's drawbridge with a fixed span. The drawbridge sits just 23 feet above the channel. A new span would be 116 feet above the water and offer a 300-foot navigational clearance.

But that project is still five years away, Foster said.

Wildwood Crest Mayor John Pantalone said residents on barrier islands have grown accustomed to dealing with unexpected bridge closures.

"We're surrounded by water. If you don't want to be held prisoner by the tide or the bridge, move," he said.

But Pantalone said the latest closure points to the island's need for a fixed span.

"They know it's an antiquated bridge. It's time to replace it. It shows more and more to skeptics we need a new fixed-span bridge over there," he said.

The bridge, owned and operated by the Cape May County Bridge Commission, is raised about 7,500 times per year.

The bridge was closed for an hour in July after an 80-foot fishing boat struck the span.

[ 10-26-2004, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Capt. Harv, why do you have to cross that beidge to get to the Bree zee lee ?
Rt. 9 So. or the parkway can lead you to ocean dr. so that you can approach from the So.
 

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Middle Thorofare Bridge reopens

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

LOWER TOWNSHIP - The Middle Thorofare Bridge reopened Wednesday afternoon, three days after a boat damaged its drawbridge.

Workers from Agate Construction in Dennis Township removed the damaged concrete so the drawbridge could be raised and lowered safely, Cape May County Engineer Dale Foster said. A scallop boat, the 84-foot-long Kathy Rose, struck and damaged a protective concrete wall Sunday.

The wall was designed to protect the bridge's machinery in the event of a boat strike. It worked, Foster said.

The Cape May County Bridge Commission estimated the agency lost $5,700 in tolls during this week's closure, Director Stephen O'Connor said.

Meanwhile, the commission announced Wednesday it will place a one-way toll on all five of its bridges next summer. Now, a $1 one-way toll is levied on two of the commission's bridges, the southbound lanes of the Ocean City-Longport and Middle Thorofare spans.

The $1 one-way toll is expected to save the commission in operating expenses. A study of toll revenue found that the pricier one-way toll did not discourage drivers from using the spans, O'Connor said.

"We feared losing a great deal of revenue, but we haven't," he said.

Revenues at the Ocean City- Longport Bridge were down at first from previous years. But O'Connor said that was likely due to driving habits. The old bridge had been closed for months during construction of the new span. It took a while for motorists to start using this shortcut between Ocean City and Absecon Island again, he said.

"We won them back after the traffic patterns changed," he said.

Revenue on the Middle Thorofare Bridge remained steady after the toll increase, he said.

Local residents will catch even more breaks on toll bridges this winter.

The Grassy Sound bridge between North Wildwood and Stone Harbor is toll-free now through the spring. And drivers returning from Atlantic City will pay nothing between 2 and 6 a.m.

The one-way tolls will go into effect in late spring, O'Connor said.
 
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