Other NJ News

Passaic County Holds Public Meeting for Feedback On Morris Canal Greenway Project

Passaic County planners and engineers visited the Little Falls Civic Center to discuss the Morris Canal Greenway Project with residents on July 11. Pictured is one of the exhibits. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured is Jason Simmons, senior environmental planner for Passaic County, who spoke to a local resident regarding the Morris Canal Greenway Project at the Little Falls Civic Center on July 11. Credits: Tina Pappas
Pictured is Jonathan Pera, principal engineer for Passaic County, speaking with local residents about the Morris Canal Greenway Project at the Little Falls Civic Center on July 11. Credits: Tina Pappas
Jonathan Pera, principal engineer for Passaic County, reviews a map of the Morris Canal Greenway Project with a meeting attendee. Credits: Tina Pappas
Little Falls Mayor James Damiano discusses the Morris Canal Greenway Project with Renea Shapiro, founder of the Little Falls Alliance for a Better Community at the July 11 public meeting. Credits: Tina Pappas

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Planners and engineers from Passaic County were recently on hand at a special meeting at the Little Falls Civic Center to discuss the installment of a bridge that will be placed over the Peckman River in order to complete the Morris Canal Greenway, which spans hundreds of miles throughout Northern New Jersey. 

The goal of the project is to create a passive recreational pathway along the route of the Morris Canal, according to Jason Simmons, senior environmental planner for the Passaic County Planning Department. Considered a historic site, the Morris Canal was started in 1831 and stretched approximately 102 miles long. It became one of the state's first major transportation systems, which was eventually overshadowed by the railroad system, and then by interstate highways.

However, there are still many areas of the canal route that are still intact and the project's planners want to turn the former route of the canal into a recreation corridor that will transport hikers and bicyclists. Passaic County planners want to open additional sections of the canal route for public use, in order to bring the project to different communities and create a county-wide system. Fifty-seven percent of the route is already accessible with several municipal canal parks and bicycle paths in Little Falls, Woodland Park and Clifton. The study has also been adopted as part of the Passaic County Master Plan, as well as the township's plan.

Sign Up for E-News

Several exhibits were set up inside the civic center at the meeting, some of which entailed the history of the Morris Canal, the Morris Canal Greenway route, and the Peckman River Crossing timeline. There was also a display of several types of bridges that could span the connection, along with a suggestion box for the public's ideas and Post It stickers for attendees to indicate their preferred design preferences.

According to Simmons, the bridge will create a connection in Little Falls where there is currently no connecting walkway.

"This current disconnect is preventing about a mile and a half of continuous Greenway walkway," said Simmons. "Once we get the Browertown Road section, which we are in the process of having authorized, that's going to run from Passaic Valley High School, right around Stewart Avenue to Mount Pleasant Avenue in Woodland Park, which will add additional miles of dedicated bicycle lanes, signage, safety improvements."

He added there are also plans in the works to create a pocket park at Lackawanna Avenue and Browertown Road.

"There is an existing piece of a towpath on that road where county planner did a land swap to acquire it," Simmons noted.

He added that federal funding for the bridge was approved in 2012. Simmons highlighted the Peckman River Crossing construction timeline exhibit for those in attendance.

"We have a timeline for this particular bridge project that marks all the milestones throughout the project's history and we anticipate having it authorized by December," he said, adding the project would need to be completed in two years in order for the county to retain the federal grant money and prevent it from expiring. 

Simmons further added that the project was budgeted for approximately $700,000. The preliminary bridge was estimated to span 150 to 200 feet or more, at worst case scenario.

"However, survey work determined that the bridge would span 100 feet, so the amount is more than enough to cover that and any additional costs," he explained, adding that any unused grant money would go back to the federal government.

"We have a preliminary estimate based on the current plan," he said. "We hope to have the timeline ready for the grant's guidelines once we have all the construction documents for the NJDOT, which include the specifications, bids and permits."

Simmons said county officials plan to review the input and feedback made by those who attended the public meeting at their own meeting scheduled for this week.

According to Jonathan Pera, principal engineer for the Passaic County Engineers' Office, the pier-less bridge will span 100 feet, with a walking span of 10 feet. It will consist of reinforced concrete, prefabricated steel and wood.

Renea Shapiro, founder of the Little Falls Aliiance for a Better Community (LFABC) said the addition of bridge is a good idea, which will help with safe connectivity for those who want a continuous route through the canal pathway.

Mayor James Damiano said the event was great opportunity for residents to discuss any concerns and make any comments they may have with the project.

"The bridge that is being discussed is part of not only the county’s master plan, but the township’s as well and helps move us one step closer towards achieving that goal. This bridge will assist in connecting many miles of this greenway and is just part of the effort at historic and open space preservation by both the county and the township."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Essex County Prosecutor deems Nutley Fire Department Ladder Truck Rollover an Accident

August 16, 2017

NUTLEY, NJ - The Essex County Prosecutor's office has deemed the Fathers Day weekend rollover of a Nutley fire department ladder truck to be an accident. The incident took place on Saturday June 17 as units were responding to a CO2 activation. 

Katherine Carter of the Essex County Prosecutors Office told TAPinto Nutley " We did an investigation. The incident was deemed ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

August 14, 2017

On August 10, 2017 at 12:35 a.m., Ptl. Kyle Vergano stopped a motor vehicle for an obstructed windshield. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of the 17 year old male operator out of Little Falls for possession of marijuana. He was processed and released to the custody of a parent.

On August 10, 2017 at 10:09 a.m., Ptl. Joseph Russomanno stopped a motor vehicle for a speeding violation ...

NJ Astronomer Shares History of Eclipses in the State

August 17, 2017

MONTVILLE, NJ – The United States will be experiencing a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, which New Jerseyans can view partially– if the weather cooperates.

If you lived in one of the 14 states the eclipse is crossing with its 70-mile wide path, you’d be all set.

But if you utilize safety glasses to view the event between 1:23 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and most especially at ...

Cedar Grove Police Thank Community for Supporting National Night Out

August 8, 2017

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, August 1st. the Cedar Grove Police Department and Municipal Alliance hosted the 2017 National Night Out Event in Community Park. The event could not have been the success it was without
the help and support of the many different groups and individuals that participated.

We would like to thank the following: The Cedar Grove Township Manager, the Township Council, ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, August 18, 9:00 AM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Yoga on the Plaza!

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a3374c88528e61d3781f_mini_magick20170816-18165-1g08b0a

Sat, August 19, 9:00 AM

H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, Verona

VHS Girls Tennis Car Wash Fundraiser

Sports

Sat, August 19, 9:00 AM

Morgan's Farm and Museum, Cedar Grove

Morgan Farm And Museum

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey Announces Scholarships Newark

August 11, 2017

NEWARK, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that The County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey is offering four memorial scholarships – the Oscar W. Rittenhouse, the Andrew K. Ruotolo Jr., the Harris Y. Cotton and John H. Stamler Memorial Scholarships.

Each scholarship is a one-year grant in the amount of $3,500 paid directly to the recipient.