ROXBURY, NJ – A $79,756 footpath that will connect Roxbury’s Emmans Park Greenway to its Veteran’s Park trail network is about to receive funding approval from the Roxbury Mayor and Council.

An ordinance authorizing construction of the Emmans Greenway Connector Trail in Ledgewood was approved on first reading at the governing body’s July 11 meeting.  A second, final, reading is scheduled for the Mayor and Council’s July 25 session.

To help fund the project, Morris County has promised to give the township a $36,616 Morris County Trail Construction grant once the work is completed. The grant money will come from the Morris County Open Space Trust Fund.

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The ordinance up for final approval will appropriate up to $43,140 in township dollars. The money would come from township “open space” funds, according to Roxbury Chief Financial Officer Lisa Spring. A September 2016 resolution by the council earmarked the money for the connector trail.

The project will be a 25-foot-long, $14,000 pedestrian bridge that will carry the trail over Drake’s Brook. When all costs related to the bridge are considered – such as shipping, foundation piles, site preparation and bridge assembly, the bridge construction cost totals nearly $28,800.

About $14,400 will be spent creating a trail head and parking area, according to records. Permitting and engineering costs are estimated to be $32,700.

Last year, the township spent $5,000 to buy a .8-acre piece of property that was needed to connect the trails at Veteran’s Park with the Emmans Greenway open-space corridor. It bought the land from Christy Crickenberger. Robert Canace, a trails expert who is advising the township, said Crickenberger, in agreeing to sell the land, required that the trail through the property be named “The Red Oak Path” because there are many oak trees on the land that Crickenberger “always loved.”

The Crickenberger parcel’s acquisition “will create the opportunity to add outdoor uses along the trail corridor, including picnicking, camping, etc.,” wrote Spring in an interoffice memo to Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd. She characterized the connector trail as a “super project for the township’s continued dedication to maintaining a great community.”

The public will have an opportunity to comment about the proposed ordinance at the upcoming council meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m.