New Jersey Intracoastal - (NJICW/NJIWW)

The New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW) stretches about 117.7 SM (102.3 NM) from Manasquan Inlet, located about 40 NM south of New York City, to the Delaware Bay.

Beginning at Manasquan Inlet, the NJICW takes you up the Manasquan River before turning south and entering the Pt. Pleasant Canal which connects to the northern reaches of Barnegat Bay. Once through Barnegat Bay, it continues south taking you through a torturous winding route, reminiscent of the ICW in Georgia. Passing through marshes and small bays until finally arriving in Cape May Harbor. From Cape May Harbor your route turns west into the Cape May Canal for about 3.7 SM before arriving at the Delaware Bay about 2 miles north of Cape May Point, NJ.

Navigation

Navigation is fairly straight forward, with buoys and day beacons being characteristically marked with yellow squares and triangles. Like its big brother the AICW, red markers or yellow triangles are kept to starboard southbound along the entire route.

Charts of the NJICW from Mile 0.0 in Manasquan to Mile 118.0 at the Cape May Canal’s western entrance are covered by charts #12324 and #12316:

Sandy Hook to Little Egg Harbor
Little Egg Harbor to Cape May

A detailed chart of Cape May Harbor including Cape May Inlet (Cold Spring Inlet) and the eastern portion of the Cape May Canal Can be found on chart #12317.

Cape May Harbor

Depths

The proverbial fly in the ointment! Every effort is made to maintain a controlling depth of 6’ throughout the waterway, but due to continuous shoaling, depths of 3’ MLW may be found especially in the areas south of Barnegat Bay. The Cape May Canal Project Depth is 12’ between Cape May Harbor and the Delaware Bay. Mariners should be aware that the last survey of the Cape May Canal, done in November 2012, showed 2.1’ spots between Spicer Creek Canal and the inner end of the ferry basin at MLLW.

The tidal range varies by location, with areas near inlets having a normal range of 3 to 4 feet with as little as 0.5 foot in areas well away from the inlets. Caution should be observed during times of strong long duration winds as they may cause variations in tidal levels of as much as 3’ below MLW and 3’ above MHW.

Currents

Current velocities may reach 3 knots in the inlets and their connecting channels leading to the NJICW.

Extra caution should be exercised when transiting the Pt. Pleasant Canal. A combination of strong tidal currents, heavy boat traffic, (2) lift bridges, direct and reflected waves, wakes, and chop all combined and packed into a steel bulk-headed canal about 1.8 miles long and averaging about 135’ wide will require a little more attention by the captain.

Bridges and Clearances

From Manasquan Inlet to Absecon Inlet the minimum clearances found for overhead cables is 72’ and for fixed bridges 60’. From Absecon Inlet south to the Delaware Bay, the minimum clearance for overhead cables is 55’ and 35’ for fixed bridges. A complete listing of the bridges along the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway can be found below.

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Bridge Schedule

The following table lists the bridges; their schedules, and restrictions along the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW).

This list is believed to be accurate as of January 2017. If any errors or omissions are noted, please e-mail us at with any corrections or recommendations.


New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

Mile Marker (SM) Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Schedule Restrictions VHF
0.9 Brielle RR Bascule Bridge 3’ Opens on Demand   13
1.1 Route 35 Bascule Bridge 30’ 5/15 thru 9/30 - On Mon. thru Thu. from 1600 to 1900, Fri. from 1200 to 1900, weekends, and Fed. holidays, from 0800 to 2200; the draw need only open on the 1/4 and 3/4 hour. Other times on demand. Year round from 2300-0800 the draw need only open if at least 4 hour’s notice is given. 13
2.8 Route 88 Lift Bridge 31’ Opens on Demand 66’ Open 13
3.7 Route 13 Lift Bridge 30’ Opens on Demand 65’ Open 13
6.3 County 528 Bascule Bridge 30’ Memorial Day through Labor Day - On weekends and Fed. holidays from 0900 to 1800, the draw need only open on the hour and every 20 minutes thereafter. Other times on demand.   13
14.1 Route 37 Bridge 60’ Fixed Bridge    
14.1 Route 37 Bascule Bridge 30’ Memorial Day thru Labor Day - From 0800-2000, the draw need only open on the hour and 1/2 hour. From 4/1 through 11/30 from 2300 to 0800, the draw need only open if at least four hours’ notice is given. From 12/1 thru 3/31, the draw need only open if at least four hours notice is given. On demand at all other times. From 0800 12/01/2016 until 2000 03/31/2017; and from 0800 12/01/2017 until 2000 03/31/2018, the bridge may remain closed to navigation. 13
36.1 Route 72 Bridge 60’ Fixed Bridge    
67.2 Route 30 Bascule Bridge 20’ 4/1 to 10/31 - 0700-2300 need only open on the hour. 4 Hour notice at all other times. 11/1 to 3/31 4 Hour notice at all times. On 7/4 or 7/5 the draw need not open from 2140 - 2315. During the Atlantic City Airshow the draw will open every 2 hours on the hour from 1000-1600 and need not open from 1600-2000. 13
68.9 AMTRAK RR Swing Bridge 5’ Opens on signal from 2300-0600. From 0600-2300, the draw shall open on signal from 20 to 30 minutes after each hour. Opening of the draw may be delayed for RR traffic 13
68.9 A C Expressway Bridge 35’ Fixed Bridge    
70.0 Albany Ave. Bascule Bridge 10’ Opens on demand except that: Year round 2300-0700 and from 11/1-3/31 1500-2300 4 hour notice is required. 6/1 to 9/30 - 0900-1600 and 1800-2100 opens on the hour and 1/2 hour. From 1600-1800 the bridge need not open. On 7/4 or 7/5 the draw need not open from 2140 - 2315. During the Atlantic City Airshow the draw will open every 2 hours on the hour from 1000-1600 and need not open from 1600-2000. 13
72.1 Dorsett Ave. Bascule Bridge 9’ 6/1 thru 9/30 – From 0915 to 2115 opens on the ¼ and ¾ hour. Other times on demand.   13
72.9 Margate Bascule Bridge 14’ Opens on Demand   13
77.5 Route 152 Bridge 56’ Fixed Bridge    
80.4 Route 52 Bridge 55’ Fixed Bridge    
84.0 Roosevelt Avenue Bridge 35’ Fixed Bridge    
93.0 County 625 Bridge 35’ Fixed Bridge    
97.2 County 601 Bridge 35’ Fixed Bridge    
102.0 Stone Harbor Blvd Bascule Bridge 10’ Memorial Day thru Labor Day from 0600 to 1800 on weekends and Fed. holidays, opens on the hour and every 20 minutes thereafter. From 10/1 through 3/31 from 2200 to 0600 opens with eight hours’ notice. Other times on demand. From 2200 on 12/24 until 0600 on 12/26, the draw need open only if at least two hours notice is given. 13
106.6 N. Wildwood Blvd. Bridge 55’ Fixed Bridge    
108.9 G Redding Bascule Bridge 25’ Opens on Demand   13
112.2 Two Mile Bascule Bridge 23’ Opens on Demand From 0915 to 1030 on the fourth Sunday in March of every year, the draw need not open for vessels. If the fourth Sunday falls on a religious holiday, the draw need not open for vessels from 0915 to 1030 on the third Sunday of March of every year. From 2230 on 12/24 until 2230 on 12/26, the draw need open only if at least two hours notice is given. 13
115.2 GSP Bridge 55’ Fixed Bridge    
115.8 Seashore RR Swing Bridge 4’ Normally Open Closes for RR Traffic 13
116.8 NJ 162 Bridge 55’ Fixed Bridge    

The New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway Bridge List can be downloaded for your personal and private use below. The ZIP files contain the schedules in Adobe (.pdf) file format:

NJICW Bridge Schedule - Download

Temporary Long Term Bridge Restrictions

New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway

Mile Marker Bridge Charted Vert. Clear. Restrictions
14.1 Route 37 Bascule Bridge 30’ From 0800 December 1, 2016 until 2000 March 31, 2017; and from 0800 December 1, 2017 until 2000 March 31, 2018, the bridge may remain closed to navigation.

^ Scroll to Top