I grew up near Ocean City NJ and went to High School there. When I was a young woman in the 80’s I lived in town and one day I attempted to ride my bike over the 9th street bridge. I was immediately pulled over by an Ocean City Police cruiser. The officer inside rolled his window down and told me I could not cross the bridge on bike or foot…and I must turn around and go back. Cars only.
The bridge back then, lead to a mile and a half long low causeway built in the 1930’s over the inlet and part of the Great Egg Harbor bay. It was kind of a nasty drive over an old rickety road that was scary in a windy rain storm, especially when the water from the bay and Inlet started to crash over the railings onto the road. What a sick drive that was. It wasn’t a pleasant journey over water and marshes to say the least.
Thank God someone decided to create a masterpiece instead, a 500 million dollar masterpiece that the New Jersey Department of Transportation says is the most expensive ever. That’s because this time around it is more than just a bridge. It’s a pedestrian, biking and fishing metropolis. It’s a beacon from a distance that calls you to it. It’s almost as if now, you’re lucky if you are allowed to drive a car over this structure–because now it’s for We the Walking, Biking and Fishing people.
I walked the bridge last week on a warm sunny afternoon. At first it looks like it’s going to be a long long way to the other side, but it really is not. It’s just about 4 miles round trip from Somers Point to Ocean City. There is a Visitors Center along the way. The scenery is worth it as well as the exercise. You can see the Atlantic City sky line and the beautiful wide open sky over the big Great Egg Harbor Bay. There is a new Wa Wa (one of my favorite businesses) at the foot of the bridge in Somers Point right next to that cool land mark “The Point Diner” which has been there since 1950! You can park at the Wa Wa or I would suggest you ask the Diner if you can park there and in exchange you buy lunch there afterwards…you never know– they might say yes. You can also drive the bridge and you will see parking at the fishing piers, and the Welcome Center…so no problems with parking. Get out and hike or bike the Bridge. It’s a healthy way to enjoy the day–and feel free to let me know your reviews.
(all pictures are mine!–I used an old digital Olympus Camedia from 2003 that still rocks for the photo above this article, and I used my Galaxy S7 edge for the ones below.)
Left : The Somers Point side of the walkway. Right: The Welcome Center
Down: The sun sets over the Great Egg Harbor Bay seen from the bridge.
Lower Right: One of the Four large fishing piers with parking provided.