✅ The bridge has not been able to be raised since March 1

✅ It will be forced open on Tuesday

✅ NJ DOT does not know how long repairs will take

The Route 71 (Main Street) drawbridge over the Shark River will close to traffic indefinitely starting on Monday.

The crossing between Belmar and Avon by the Sea, built in 1932, got stuck in the down position on March 1 after a mechanical failure caused "significant damage" to the machinery of the North Bridge leaf, according to the NJ DOT. Workers have been inspecting the bridge to assess the damage to come up with a solution.

The bridge was determined to be safe and opened to vehicular traffic. Marine traffic requiring the bridge to be raised to reach the ocean could not pass.

The NJ DOT said that the north side of the bridge should be opened on Tuesday using a crane. It will remain in the upright position until the repairs are complete.  It is not known how long the repair will take.

The NJDOT says it is legally obligated to allow marine traffic to pass as it has the right of way.

ALSO SEE: Legendary family-owned deli now for sale after 6 decades at NJ shore

Work boat under the Route 71 drawbridge over the Shark River
Work boat under the Route 71 drawbridge over the Shark River (Bud McCormick)

Route 71/Main Street northbound from Belmar to Avon by the Sea Detour:

• Motorists on Route 71/Main Street northbound will be directed to turn left onto Eighth Avenue
• Turn right on Route 35 northbound
• Continue over the Route 35/Shark River Bridge and follow signs for Avon by the Sea

Route 71/Main Street southbound from Avon by the Sea to Belmar Detour:

• Motorists on Route 71/Main Street southbound will be directed to turn right onto Sylvania Avenue
• Stay right and take the ramp to Route 35 South/Belmar
• Take Route 35 over the Shark River Bridge into Belmar
• Turn left onto Eighth Avenue and follow to Route 71/Main Stree

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