Senator Jennifer Beck, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande are pleased to announce that Governor Christie has signed into law a bill designating the Route 36 Bridge spanning the Shrewsbury River as “Captain Joseph Azzolina Memorial Bridge.”
“I have always counted the Captain as a friend and mentor,” said Beck, who served under Azzolina during his time as an Assemblyman, “and I couldn’t be prouder to have been a prime sponsor of a bill that is paying him such tribute. Joseph Azzolina had a love and dedication to New Jersey and especially to the Bayshore area that was unmatched. He taught me what is means to be a legislator and what it is to dedicate ones self to public service. With the naming of this bridge, which overlooks Sandy Hook, connecting Sea Bright and the Highlands, the town of his childhood, his legacy will continue to live on for many generations to come.”
Azzolina grew up in the Highlands where his parents operated a food store there known as the Food Basket, the precursor to Foodtown. He also worked as a teenager helping to build Fort Hancock out on Sandy Hook. He served in the Korean War and eventually achieved the rank of Navy Captain, serving as a Captain on the battleship the USS New Jersey when it was off the shore of Lebanon during the Beirut crisis.
“It is fitting that Captain Azzolina be honored by the naming of this bridge,” said O’Scanlon. “He dedicated his life to serving the people of New Jersey, not only in his role as an Assemblyman and State Senator, but as a local business man who never thought twice about donating to worthy causes and serving in various capacities of numerous organizations.”
“Assemblyman Azzolina’s devotion to New Jersey was unparalleled,” said Casagrande. “His time as an elected official gave him the opportunity to enact real change to offer a better future for all residents of New Jersey. His tireless efforts to bring the Battleship New Jersey back to its namesake State as a museum is a testament to his devotion to the Garden State and his dedication to ensuring the preservation of our history.”