SEA BRIGHT: The borough council has chosen to support a proposal by Monmouth County and the U.S. Coast Guard to open the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge less often during summer months.
Earlier this summer, the county, which owns the bridge, submitted a request to reduce the number of times the bridge opens to vehicular traffic from twice per hour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sunday and holidays to once per hour during that same timeframe. Fridays would also be added to the schedule under the proposed change.
Vehicular traffic created from the bridge's opening has been cited as the reason for the change.
"Analysis furnished by Monmouth County confirms that the seasonal nature of bridge openings negatively impacts the efficient flow of vehicular traffic," according to a post on the Federal Register by the Coast Guard. "Moreover, the study indicates that reducing the number of scheduled openings for vessels will not significantly affect the movement of waterway traffic. It was also noted that vehicular traffic builds significantly on each successive Friday leading into the weekend over the course of the summer."
The schedule, if adopted, would run from May 15 through September 30, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, while still opening on signal during evening hours as well as through the autumn, winter and spring months.
The Sea Bright Council passed a resolution during its Sept. 5 meeting which affirmed its support for the new rule.
"Vehicular delays during peak seasons have become extraordinary, due in part to the frequent interruption to the vehicular traffic color from the numerous scheduled bridge openings for boat passage," the resolution states.
The Coast Guard is looking to get as many public comments as possible until Sept. 18, 2017.