Lettiere presents $1 million to Wall Township
for multi-use bike trail
(Wall Township) - On national "Bike To Work" day, Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere today presented a check for $1 million to the Wall Township for construction of a multi-use bike trail along NJDOT right of way for the former Route 18 extension.
The path will run through property once slated for the extension of Route 18. The project was conceived in the 1960s and property purchased in the early 1970s. It would have lengthened the highway from its present terminus at Route 138 in Wall to the Routes 34 and 35 interchange in Brielle.
"As we work on reshaping the future of New Jersey through Smart Growth, it's projects like this that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of year-round residents and seasonal visitors to the Jersey Shore," said Governor James E. McGreevey. "When completed , this path will allow cyclists to travel from Wall through Manasquan, a distance of nearly 20 miles, without using any roads."
Commissioner Lettiere presented the $1 million check to Wall Township Mayor Mary Burne.
"Smart Growth and smart use our transportation resources means we must invest in projects that promote alternative forms of transportation, reduce congestion, clean the air and preserve the natural beauty of our state. This project is the embodiment of all the criteria, Lettiere said.
Lettiere appeared with State and Local officials, as well as bicycle enthusiasts, township residents and transportation advocacy groups for the announcement at the Wall Municipal Building.
"It's terrific that DOT has recognized that Monmouth County doesn't need a new highway, and is turning this land into a bikeway that will serve thousands of people each year," said Janine Bauer, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
Phil Beachem, a Wall Township resident and President of the New Jersey Alliance for Action, said the bike path will provide a safe corridor for bicyclists in the Shore region. "I applaud this decision by the Commissioner to take property that is not being utilized, and construct a bikeway that will provide numerous opportunities for public use," Beachem said. "Not only is the DOT addressing recreational opportunities, but safety issues as well. People will now be able to ride their bicycles from Wall, through Allaire State Park, all the way to the beach in Manasquan without using roads."
At the check presentation were Senator Joseph Palaia, Assemblyman Steve Corodemus and Assemblyman Sean Kean.
"This bike path plays a very important role in the lives of people, especially those in the Shore area, where bicycling is a popular activity," said Palaia. "This path will provide and a wonderful recreation opportunity that will allow people to see the beautiful sites along the way."
Assemblyman Corodemus said the bike path will help showcase the Jersey Shore.
"I have always been a proponent of New Jersey's natural resources and Monmouth County is one of the finest examples of what we have to offer here in the Garden State," he said. "This bike path will allow not only Monmouth County residents but all New Jerseyans, the opportunity to enjoy one of America's most valuable treasures. "
Assemblyman Kean, a Wall Township resident and avid runner, predicted the bike path will attract scores of runners and walkers as well. "This is a great project," he said. "I salute NJDOT in their efforts to make this happen."
May is National Bike Month. The Commissioner was joined by members of the Central Jersey Bicycle Club, the Jersey Shore Touring Society, Bike New Jersey and the Jersey Off-Road Bicycle Association. Annually, NJDOT spends more than $7 million dollars on bicycle projects.