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SEA BRIGHT: OCEAN AVENUE REOPENED

State Department of Transportation dumptrucks leaving Sea Bright at midday Monday after several days of sand removal work. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The northern stretch of Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, closed to all but local traffic over the weekend because of seawall breaches, reopened Monday afternoon.

But damage to the wall caused by unusually high tides following last Wednesday’s snowstorm means that the borough may be holding its breath during similar weather events until the wall is repaired, Councilman Read Murphy tells redbankgreen.

DOT crews clearing the last of the sand that swept over the seawall, at right. (Click to enlarge)

Murphy said ocean tides that were seven-to-eight-feet above normal, topped by waves also that high, sent water banging into and over the wall in the 200-block area.

“We had boulders come loose, and water spraying through the openings,” he said.

Tons of sand were dumped on the roadway, prompting a closure of Ocean Avenue between the bridges that connect Sea Bright to Rumson and Highlands. Local traffic was permitted past barricades, but through traffic was barred, said a state Department of Transportation spokesman.

Now, the borough hopes to lean on the state Department of Environmental Protection to repair the structure, officials said.

“Props to the state DOT: Route 36 at Highlands Bridge reopens this afternoon,” Mayor Dina Long tweeted at about 2:30 p.m. “Permanent fix for the problem in the works with DEP. I hope.”

But the DEP is expected to balk at the cost, Murphy said.

“It’s a lot of money,” he said. “The wall has to be fixed, but there’s got to be some conversation before it gets fixed. Meantime, we hope we can dodge some more bullets from other storms for a little while.”

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