The Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty at Island Beach State Park has reopened in time for prime striped bass fishing season after a project to rebuild a large portion of it was recently completed.
The jetty had been significantly damaged during Superstorm Sandy, leading to its closure while a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor used barges, cranes and excavators to move new rocks into place and shore up the structure. The jetty rocks are considered an excellent fishing spot by local anglers, who normally access the area by four wheel drive beach buggies.
In all, about 740 feet of the jetty’s midsection was rebuilt in the $7.4 million project. It was reconstructed using a mix of new capstone, existing capstone as well as corestone, slushed concrete and stone-filled mattresses.
Now that the jetty has reopened to anglers, the state has added a few rules to protect it from future damage and to allow it to be accessed easier, officials said.
A snow fence has been erected about 35 feet north of the jetty itself, and beach buggy owners are being asked to park behind it. There are opening every few feet for pedestrians to walk past. The purpose of the fence is to prevent sand shift from occurring, as vehicles driving and parking right next to the jetty itself can cause sink holes.
“Trucks will exacerbate that and cause hazards for vehicles and people,” the state said in a statement. The absence of vehicles will also help preserve the jetty’s structural integrity, the statement said.
Additionally, having trucks park 35 feet away will ensure more equitable access and allow anglers to move more freely around the entire length of the jetty.
“Historically, users would park on or immediately adjacent to the jetty which restricted other users ability to move about,” the statement said.