ROXBURY, NJ - The Morris County Board of Freeholders joined with Roxbury’s Mayor and Council and the township’s and county historic community Aug. 8 to formally dedicate a historic bridge marker and interpretive panel that highlight the township’s Drakesville Historic Park and Morris Canal Greenway preservation efforts.

“The terrific work done here by the township to preserve an important piece of this county’s history is remarkable,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The preserved Silas Riggs House, King House and King Store and some remaining Morris Canal features that have been protected here in Roxbury give us an important look at our past and help us all better understand our roots. I applaud you for these efforts.”

The historic marker was installed at the Canal Street Bridge over Drake’s Brook in Roxbury, and the interpretive panels are located nearby. The panels are similar to those erected recently in Mount Olive, at the Flanders-Drakestown Road bridge.

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Joining the freeholders Roxbury officials at the event were Peg Shultz, archivist and acting director of the Morris County Heritage Commission; Mary Ann Dudak, a member of the Roxbury Historic Trust; Richard Cramond, a Roxbury historian plus members of the township’s open space preservation team.

The Canal Street Bridge Over Drakes Brook was built in the late 1920s as part of a project to close the Morris Canal, Cramond told the freeholders. Here are some facts about that bridge:

The original Canal Street bridge was a two-span concrete bridge that was about 16-feet wide.

It suffered extensive deterioration of the concrete due to salt and water seepage. It was deemed structurally deficient by the NJ DOT following an inspection in the early 2000s.

The new stone-facing bridge, which opened in 2014, is a precast concrete structure, 26 feet long and 29 feet wide. It carries slightly more than 500 vehicles daily.

The county funded construction project for the new bridge which cost $470,000.

As required by the State Historic Preservation Office, a historic marker was placed at the bridge and an interpretive sign was erected near the King House, both of which highlight the Morris Canal and the former Drakesville (currently Ledgewood) area of the township.