What’s open July 4 since NJ shutdown is over (including Island Beach State Park)
TRENTON — Beach-goers will have the last day of the long holiday weekend to swim at Island Beach State Park.
After being turned away by State Police and Park Police since Saturday, the gates to the 3,000 acre park in Berkeley Township will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, after the legislature reached a compromise that ended a three-day-long state shutdown.
Legislators announced the deal at about 10 p.m. Monday, but even before they voted on it, the state announced all "state parks, forests, historic sites and recreation areas will re-open on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, including Liberty State Park and Island Beach State Park in the morning."
While Liberty State Park will open along with other facilities Tuesday, Jersey City will not move its fireworks display and festivities back to that location. It had announced plans earlier in the weekend to relocate to exchange place, and those plans will stand. The event includes carnival rides, food trucks, music and a view of fireworks over the Hudson River.
State offices including the state courts and the Motor Vehicle Commission were already set to be closed for Independence Day Tuesda and will now operate on Wednesday.
Motor Vehicle Commission spokeswoman Marin Bellack said the agency is granting a two-day extension to driver licenses, permits, registrations and inspection stickers that expired June 30, 2017. These documents will now be valid until July 6, 2017.
"Customers are encouraged to take advantage of MVC online services and check the MVC website prior to visiting an Agency for low volume Agency wait times and check what documentation will be needed before making a trip to an Agency," Bellack said.
"Residents may also renew their registrations online at: state.nj.us/mvc twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Once a customer renews online, they are automatically updated in the system. They should keep their receipt with them until their new registration arrives in the mail," Bellack said.
State parks and beaches reopening include Island Beach State Park, Cheesequake State Park, Island Beach State Park and marina, Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, Cape May Point State Park, Allaire State Park and the Round Valley Recreation Area.
North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello told New Jersey 101.5 that because of what he described as near-perfect weather, his city has had an "extraordinary" July 4 weekend and anticipates the crowd between Friday and Tuesday will be "record breaking."
"It is difficult to ascertain if the shutdown contributed to this, but I would certainly prefer that our state officials do their jobs and keep the government running," Rosenello said.
Beachgoers on Monday turned away from Island Beach State Park made the trip to Long Beach Island, creating a 7-mile delay from the Garden State Parkway to the Causeway into Ship Bottom on Monday morning.
Gov. Chris Christie caught widespread criticism and ridicule for visiting his beach house at Island Beach State Park while the park remained closed to the public. The beach house is an official residence on a stretch of the beach not normally accessible to the public.
Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said the Beach Haven West neighborhood was gridlocked with traffic trying to avoid the delay/
How did the shutdown impacted you, your family and co-workers? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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