Holt, Buono Lettiere present
for South River bike path
(South River) - Commissioner Jack Lettiere today presented South River with a check for $1 million that will build a 1.4-mile bicycle path, the community’s first.
Lettiere was joined by Congressman Rush Holt, Senator Barbara Buono, Assemblymen Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan, local officials, bike enthusiasts and residents for the presentation at Grekowski Park,
The Commissioner thanked Holt for the federal monies that made the project possible, and Buono for her leadership in making sure the project became a reality.
“The $1 million for South River’s first bike path is yet another step in Governor McGreevey’s vision for Smart Growth in New Jersey,” said Lettiere. “By connecting neighborhoods to this park and the downtown, we’re giving South River’s residents an alternative means of transportation and an opportunity for recreation with their families.”
The project, in design phase, will provide a 12-foot-wide path along remnants of an abandoned borough-owned right-of-way and along Whitehead Avenue.
"Thanks to the vision and commitment of State Senator Barbara Buono and others, South River will now have a 1.4-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that will provide a user-friendly, crucial link between its downtown district and growing residential neighborhoods," said Rep. Rush Holt. "I look forward to working with the South River community to find additional ways to extend this trail and connect it to future plans for the waterfront."
Senator Buono, who was instrumental to the project, and Congressman Holt were presented with T-shirts and water bottles by bicyclists who attended the press conference.
"For many South River bikers and pedestrians, making the trip downtown to the park or the boat club can be a dangerous undertaking," said Senator Buono. "The Department of Transportation grant will give South River the funds necessary to begin construction on the bike and pedestrian path, bringing a safe and scenic access to downtown for residents."
The paved trail will also contain boardwalks and wooden footbridges where the path encounters wetlands associated with the nearby South River.
“Today is a good day for the residents of South River,” said Assemblyman Barnes. “This project proves what teamwork on the federal, state and local level can do for the voters of the 18th District.”
Construction on the path is expected to begin in Spring 2004. Once the path is completed, community groups will help maintain it.
"This is tremendous for South River,” said Assemblyman Diegnan. “This grant will help improve and create recreational opportunities for its' citizens."