A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What Next For The Cliffwood Beach Waterfront?

Mayor Fred Tagliarini had a close call in the recent election and wondered aloud on election night whether he needed to do a few things he promised but didn't delivered on, one of those being the Cliffwood Beach Waterfront revitalization. He pointed out that there's no point to fixing up the place if it is going to continue to flood, something I agree with.

Councilman Greg Cannon announced a development project to deal with the flooding of the beach onto Lakeshore Drive by improving drainage and engineering the dunes to withstand storms, things that the township might be able to get state or federal funding for but seem wishful thinking, engineering wise.

The roadway and park are literally immersed in a flood zone and nothing short of a seawall is going to keep out the Raritan Bay. And not for the long term, even with a concrete structure. The tide has been cutting a path towards Greenwood Avenue and regularly floods the woods behind the homes there. After Sandy and Irene, people were kayaking on Lakeshore Drive. No mound of sand, no matter how well engineered, is going to keep out the bay.

It might be time to start pondering a different approach to the beachfront. Perhaps a new bridge to connect Greenwood Avenue with Ocean Avenue? A bridge could provide secure vehicle transportation between Monmouth and Middlesex counties. It could also support a walkway/bike path connecting the Laurence Harbor seawall with the Cliffwood Beach seawall, eventually linking them to the Hudson Trail at Keyport. At the same time, we could develop a saltwater marsh at Cliffwood Beach instead of building basketball courts. A green approach could attract game bird hunters, fishermen, bird watchers and envirotourists. And generous funding at the state and federal levels.


  1. Expect more of the same, NOTHING. Anyone in CB that voted to keep these jerks in power is going to get what they deserve. NOTHING

  2. Or how about they just close the section of Ocean Ave that goes from Greenwood Ave to the bridge into Old Bridge? and let the are return to marsh land. For those of us that actually live on Greenwood its irritating to constantly deal with the parade of vehicles that come speeding down the road. Its a small winding road with no sidewalks and always full of parked cars. If this access was cut off then it would be much safer.

    1. I think there's little doubt that the beachfront will return to nature eventually, and that's fine by me. And I don't think the Aberdeen PD would mind if the beach road was closed because of the illegal activities that go on down there and all the patrolling they have to do. But it is Green Acres public land and needs to remain accessible, so closing the road, even just the bridge, is a non starter for the State of NJ. It is also a detour route for Route 35. Even if they fix the flooding of Route 35, there can be other situations that require closing the road and detouring traffic. Again, there would be push back from the State.

      The parked cars along Greenwood near the park are fishermen, for the most part.

      I agree that people need to slow down on Greenwood, but closing the park would only affect thru traffic into Middlesex County. Plenty of other traffic goes through there. A couple speed bumps would slow things down on Greenwood. Sidewalks would be nice, but I doubt anyone wants to sacrifice their yards for that.

      The township's ideas for the beachfront are wasteful and impractical in my opinion. Our alternative ideas couldn't be worse, that's for sure. Just check out the volleyball court they installed then featured in their pre-election brag rag. Good idea? No. Photo op? Yes.

      Well, thanks for writing. And thanks for reading.

  3. I think the area has great potential. Yes it will always flood due to the creek there. Look at the past how they develop into a swimming pool and board walk. Yes it was damage …but knowing all this it can be built to modern building codes and technics. The walk way in the back only had on section torn down by Sandy. The rest made it through. So we have beach frontage and we don’t do a dam thing to build it up
    People come from all over the Tri-state area to fish there. I have meet people from Connecticut that have come to fish here. Cliffwood beach is mention in multiple fishing reports on the internet and newspapers. It a very popular destination with fisherman.
    Parking fee for non-residents
    Elevated board walk that connected to the sea wall with lights
    The creek offers a safe place to launch kayaks …yes jet skis ….build a launch and charge a fee
    The area has a huge open area for events ….like traveling carnivals … fee’s
    Ever other town has done something with their beach front
    We just let are beach front sit …late night beer parties …..Trash everywhere … that why these action go one because people know that it never patrolled ….may be a cop walking down the beach with a flash light would get the word out
    This will bring business to the area maybe increase property values if it done well

    1. I'm not worried about the creek rising. It's the bay that is encroaching. In the past few years I've seen kayaks on Greenwood Avenue nearly halfway up to the Bayview Church. We can't be rebuilding roads and infrastructure after every storm. And with sea levels expected to rise 5' in the next 20 years, we can't build walls high enough to keep the sea out. I'm just suggesting we take the encroachment in stride and plan around it.

      You have some wonderful insights and ideas. Development just has to take into account the rising tides and stronger storms that are coming our way.