🔵 A bridge over the Shark River has been closed to traffic since mid-March

🔵 NJ is offering a free shuttle from town to town for pedestrians and cyclists

🔵 The shuttle is scheduled to run until bridge repairs are complete

While a popular bridge is shut down in Monmouth County, the New Jersey Department of Transportation is offering free shuttle service to folks who are trying to travel between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea.

The bus service is up and running as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, making trips between the business districts of the two communities.

The temporary, free-of-charge service will run indefinitely seven days a week, until repairs to the Route 71 bridge over the Shark River are complete and vehicles and pedestrians can use the span again.

On March 1, due to a mechanical failure, the drawbridge lost its ability to open up for marine traffic.

The bridge remained open for drivers until March 12, when crews forced the span into the upright position. It'll stay that way during most of the repairs, as the state is legally obligated to allow marine traffic through.

Free shuttle stops and schedule


The shuttle service is scheduled to run daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bus can hold 16 passengers; it's ADA accessible and can carry bicycles.

The continuous loop begins at the Belmar train station. There are nine stops total between Belmar and Avon-by-the-Sea.

Passengers can look for the "Shuttle Bus" signs (pictured above) at the following locations:

Stops in Belmar

⚫ West Railroad Ave. & 10th Ave. (train station)

⚫ Main St. & 10th Ave.

⚫ Main St. & 8th Ave.

⚫ River Rd. & Main St.

⚫ West Railroad Ave. & 7th Ave.

Stops in Avon-by-the-Sea

⚫ Main St. & Sylvania Ave.

⚫ Main St. & Washington Ave.

⚫ Jefferson Ave. & Main St.

⚫ Main St. & Garfield Ave.


Bridge repair detours

Drivers headed north from Belmar on Route 71/Main St. are being directed to turn left onto 8th Ave. and then turn right on Route 35 to go over that bridge.

Drivers coming south from Avon-by-the-Sea on Route 71/Main St. will be directed to turn right onto Sylvania Ave. From there, you'd stay right and take the ramp to Route 35 South/Belmar and travel Route 35 over the water. A left onto 8th Ave. would bring you back to Route 71.

DOT hopes to have the bridge work done by Memorial Day.

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