Details are emerging on the repopulation of the Brick section of the barrier island.
Pending the approval of Gov. Chris Christie, residents of Brick Township, Toms River Township and Seaside Heights – with the exception of Ortley Beach – will be able to repopulate on a full-time basis. On that same date, Route 35 is expected to reopened to the public.
New details on that plan began to emerge as the date moves closer.
While motorists will be able to cross the Mantoloking Bridge without the road blocks that have been in place since Superstorm Sandy hit, they will only be able to travel south on the state highway, said Brick Police Chief Nils R. Bergquist.
Mantoloking Borough is not part of the repopulation plan that includes the three other towns, so while motorists must pass through a portion of Mantoloking to access Brick and points south, travel north of Herbert Street – known as Mantoloking Road on the Brick side of the bridge – will be limited to residents only.
"The devastation there is so bad, and the road cannot handle that kind of traffic," Bergquist said, of Mantoloking. "It would be putting all those people traveling through there at risk, and then we also have to worry about the security of those people's possessions since the houses there are ripped apart."
The Mantoloking Office of Emergency Management said New Jersey state troopers will enforce the new northbound checkpoint at the intersection of Herbert Street and Route 35.
Mantoloking's OEM also announced Wednesday that while motorists will be able to pass through a portion of the borough going southbound, only residents will be allowed on side streets.
Brick officials are still mapping out their final plans for repopulation and access to the island.
"We are in the process of modifying our emergency declarations to accommodate the free flow of traffic on Route 35, while still protecting our residents and their property," said Bergquist.
Barring any setbacks this week, Bergquist said, Jan. 7 is still the expected repopulation date.