PARSIPPANY, NJ — The new access road to Central Park of Morris County has officially been named after Gov. Chris Christie.

Governor Chris Christie Drive will be a one-third mile connector of Central Avenue in the county park to West Hanover Avenue, a short distance from downtown Morris Plains. The access road will provide easier access to the park and alleviate much of the traffic that now cuts through residential neighborhoods in Morris Plains, Parsippany and Morris Township to get the soccer fields, skating rinks, dog park and other popular features of the park, said officials.

Work on the $1.5 million project is set to be completed by mid-2018.

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Christie, a former Morris County freeholder, and First Lady Mary Pat Christie participated in the event that took place on the route of the new road in Central Park. Also attending the ceremony were freeholders, park commissioners, legislators and mayors from Parsippany and Morris Township, among others.

“We have a dual purpose today: We are marking the start of construction of a much needed new access road to Central Park of Morris County, and at the same time, we are marking the place in our county’s history of Governor Christie – who is a Morris County resident and one-time county freeholder,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

Christie is one of four people from Morris County to serve as governor of New Jersey and only the second since the late 1800s. The others are George Theodore Werts (1893-1896), Philemon Dickerson (1836-37) and Mahlon Dickerson (1815-1817) – for whom the Morris County Park Commission’s Mahlon Dickerson Reservation is named.

"As a 2-term elected governor, the United States Attorney for New Jersey appointed by President George Bush, a presidential candidate and – of course –a Morris County freeholder, Gov. Christie has earned his place in the state and county’s history books,’’ said Cabana. “We thank him for his service to our state, county and nation as his second term nears an end, and wish him, the first lady and their family well in the future.’’

As part of the event, Christie was presented with a ceremonial “Governor Chris Christie Drive’’ road sign.
“This is part of the reason why you want to raise your family here,’’ said Christie. “It’s places like this where you can bring your children for them to grow up in a surrounding that is as beautiful as this with the opportunities to compete and to share a special time with their family. That’s all a wonderful part of what it means to live in Morris County.’’