Cape May County will host two public forums May 3 to discuss the future of Lower Township’s Middle Thorofare Bridge.
The county has started the process to create development plans to improve or replace the bridge.
The bridge, which serves as the quickest connection between Cape May and Wildwood Crest, was opened in the 1940s and has two lanes at a total of 20 feet wide.
Over the years it has experienced significant deterioration.
It was originally built to hold a 17.5-ton truck, but corrosion has lowered the weight limit to 15 tons, according to a statement from Lower Township.
Fire trucks from the Erma fire station responding to an emergency in Diamond Beach have to travel over the George Redding Bridge into Wildwood because of the bridge’s weight limit, according to the statement.
Officials also will look to address the height of the bridge so it does not have to be raised for boats as often.
One of the busiest fishing docks on the East Coast sits next to the bridge, and traffic backs up on both sides because it has to be opened so frequently, according to the statement.
The public forums will take place at 2 p.m. at the Crest Pier in Wildwood Crest and 6 p.m. at the Cape May City Convention Center May 3. Both forums are expected to last about two hours.