Shore's Townsend Inlet bridge reopens in time for the weekend

Shore-goers may be happy to hear that the Townsend Inlet bridge connecting Sea Isle City and Avalon will reopen Friday, after a more than two-month closure.

The bridge was shut down indefinitely to vehicle traffic in early April after divers inspecting the support pilings found a crack. The span had been set to undergo repairs in 2017 and 2018, the Atlantic City Press reported.

The bridge, which opened in 1939 as part of a coast-hugging route called Ocean Drive (Route 619), remained open to bicycles and pedestrians. It was originally hoped the span would open by Memorial Day. The repair work proved difficult, with much of it done underwater in strong tidal currents and often choppy waters, officials said.

Last June, nearly 50,000 vehicles used the bridge, according to the Cape May County Bridge Commission.

The cost to repair the span totaled more than $1 million. Estimates for replacing the aging span are in the hundreds of millions.