(Avalon/Sea Isle City, NJ)—Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi and Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio are calling for full disclosure from the County of Cape May regarding the significant delays with completing the reconstruction of the Townsends Inlet Bridge that connects both communities. The County issued a statement on Monday, April 8th that the reconstruction project will not only miss the promised completion date of Memorial Day weekend, but the bridge is anticipated to remain closed until “late summer.” The bridge is owned, operated, and maintained by the County of Cape May.
“Everyone in our community is having a tremendous amount of difficulty understanding why a formal announcement on this closure comes fewer than 50 days before the start of the summer tourism season in our communities,” said Pagliughi. “We will accept nothing less than full disclosure on how and why this project is at least three months behind schedule and why it has taken until now to finally get a completion schedule from the County.”
“This news is both disappointing and disturbing to residents, property owners, and merchants on both side of the Townsends Inlet Bridge,” said Desiderio. “We understand and appreciate problems that may occur during bridge construction projects, but there must be complete transparency in this matter.”
Administrators in both municipalities delivered reports to their governing bodies and the public on March 26th (Sea Isle City) and March 27th (Avalon) suggesting that the bridge would not be open by Memorial Day weekend, and there was no indication from the County on when the bridge could be open. That information was delivered via an emailed statement by the County on April 8th.
Both mayors recognize that the closure of the only direct link between both communities will be an unanticipated economical detriment to merchants on both sides of the bridge, and will ask the County about its contingency plan to manage the closure of the bridge for the entire summer.