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 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:
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.
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.
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:
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.|