Story by The Link News

The City of Long Branch announced today that it will build a fully ADA-accessible fishing and pedestrian pier with the $3.25 million grant it recently received from the state Boardwalk Preservation Fund. Governor Murphy announced the award last Friday. Mayor John Pallone stated that this will allow Long Branch to achieve a long-term goal of bringing back a fishing and pedestrian pier where it stood for over 100 years perpendicular to the city’s boardwalk.

“We want to thank Governor Murphy and the Department of Consumer Affairs for this grant. For many, when we think of the historic Long Branch, we think of the pier. We are grateful for this funding, and we are happy to bring another amenity to Long Branch for residents and visitors to enjoy,” Mayor Pallone stated.

Mayor Pallone and the City Council said they have always had a vision to bring back a prized destination in Long Branch by building a passive pier that is also fully ADA-compliant. The pier is in the conceptual stage. However, it will be about 500 feet long and run along the right of way that exists next to Laird Street beach.

“The idea is that as families, walkers, or runners are enjoying the boardwalk, they can also walk out onto the pier to enjoy the views, capture moments or, if you are a fisherman, it will be a great location to fish,” Council President Bill Dangler said.

Mayor Pallone explained that the fishing pier will provide residents and visitors with access to deeper depths for fishing. It also would operate year-round, providing recreational opportunities beyond the traditional summer season in Long Branch.

“We also plan for the pier to be a model for the disabled in the state. In 2019, we opened New Jersey’s first fully accessible beach which has been followed by other towns. The pier project would once again demonstrate Long Branch’s and the State’s commitment to improve inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities,” Mayor Pallone concluded.

The project will start in the year 2025. More information will be released by the City of Long Branch in the coming months.