Hurley: Public Safety, Public Works & Public Health Emergency in Atlantic City
This is both a legitimate news story and a public service announcement.
There is a significant issue that is now entering its second week.
Atlantic City’s Lagoon Bridge is now rated for traffic weighing only 3 tons.
To demonstrate how serious this is … The Atlantic City fire department apparatus routinely weighs in at 25 to 35 tons.
This means that there are questions about whether or not fire protection is available for lagoon residents.
The same holds true for trash and recycling vehicles, buses and more.
We have some answers at this time. We’ve spoken with Rebekah Mena, the Public Information Officer for the City of Atlantic City.
Mena conveyed that “Emergency service vehicles, including fire apparatus, are the only vehicles above the 3 ton restriction that are authorized to cross the second bridge at this time. The safety of residents is our main concern and we're in the process of staging a fire apparatus on the Lagoon side of the second bridge,” said Mena.
This is vitally important news in that the Lagoon residents can and will receive fire protection should the need arise.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small has declared a local emergency and is in the process of addressing the issue.
We reached out to Atlantic City Council President George Tibbitt, who advised that “The City is taking a all hands on deck approach. Our engineers and outside engineers are moving as quickly as possible to rebuild and rectify this situation,” said Tibbitt.
I interviewed an Atlantic City resident/taxpayer earlier today who said, “The taxpayers of The Lagoon do not have fire protection or other important city services. The city is reactive and not proactive.”
The area is also wreaking of a foul trash smell, as the situation enters a second week with the weight limitation in effect.
We’ll keep you apprised as we continue to receive more information.
Another Atlantic City taxpayer asked, “Can the Army Corp of Engineers erect a bridge while a permanent solution is properly explored?”
This is no doubt that this is a significant inconvenience to the residents affected.
More than that, it presents a very real public safety, public works and public health emergency.
We’re going to stay on top of this in the days ahead,
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