UPDATE: 12 p.m .: By noon the closure was over and the bridge reopened to traffic, Stafford police said.
Visitors to Long Beach Island were briefly stranded in place on Sunday morning, as a police investigation resulted in the closure of Route 72 – the only road in and outside the island.
Stafford Township Police announced the closure in both directions just before 11 a.m., as did Harvey Cedars and Long Beach Township Police.
No other details were initially publicly confirmed about the investigation itself, although there has been speculation on the cause on social media.
The closure of the Manahawkin Bay Bridge was quick to impact local businesses, as Panzone’s LBI announced it had been forced to delay opening for Sunday amid the disruption.
Stafford Township police had received a call just before 10:30 am reporting a “suspicious bag under Rt. 72 East Causeway, near Morris Boulevard,” according to a noon police update.
State police intervened and the bag was deemed “safe and non-threatening”.
Route 72 Causeway in Ocean County connects Long Beach Island to the mainland, carrying traffic between Stafford Township and Ship Bottom on LBI, along the Manahawkin Bay Bridge and three trestle bridges, as described by officials state transport.
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