Column as submitted by Councilwoman Maria Maruca:
Our senior beach badge ID was a success last year and we will continue the program. Residents ages 62 and older living in Toms River are able to receive a township issued photo ID card enables them to visit Toms River Township beaches for free. The lifetime senior ID and beach pass provides access to Ortley Beach and Shelter Cove Beach, and there is no need to renew the card each year. The pass is available now at the Senior Center and the Recreation Department in Snug Harbor. Ortley Beach South Beach House for the remainder of the summer season.
For all other adults and non-residents, beach badges will be available at the pre-season rate of $35 per badge until Monday, May 28th and beginning Tuesday, May 29th, badges are $50.00 per badge. A week badge is $25.00 per week (Saturday through Friday), the weekly daily fee is $7.00 and $8.00 on weekends.
Recently the Ortley Beach lifeguards held try outs for the 2012 season. Beach goers will be seeing some new faces as guards were hired to replace the guards who will not be returning. Mayor Tom Kelaher will welcome our new guards and returning guards at the annual lifeguard meeting. The lifeguards will be on duty on weekends starting Memorial Day Weekend. The beaches will be open daily starting on June 23rd.
The popular junior lifeguard program will be held again this year. Anyone who would like information on the program can stop by the 4th Avenue life guard headquarters, starting Memorial Day Weekend, and pick up the information.
The way most of our residents get to the beach is by using Route 37 and the Mathis Bridge. The Mathis Bridge is the gateway between the Toms River mainland and the barrier island. As we all know the bridge is an invaluable part of our local infrastructure and must be protected as it not only supports our local tourism and business industry but also is a vital transportation route for the barrier island community.
Over the years the bridge has had its share of wear and tear and has been undergoing some rehabilitation. This had been evident with all the construction that has taken place since the fall. Township officials recently received an update from NJDOT.
At the end of April beginning of May, NJDOT’s contractor, Jupiter Painting Company, began implementing single and double-lane closures on Route 35 underneath the Route 37 bridges at the eastern end of the causeway connecting Toms River and Seaside Heights, over the Barnegat Bay. The lane closures will began on the northbound side of the highway, eventually shifting to the southbound lanes. The contractor will paint the Route 37 bridges over Route 35 around the clock, utilizing these lane closures, for approximately a couple of weeks.
I wish all our residents and visitors and safe and enjoyable summer.
Councilwoman Maria Maruca