Posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2020
Virtual Meeting Set for 7-8:30 p.m. on Morris/Passaic Counties Trail
A virtual public meeting on a proposed 4.8-mile Pequannock-to-Wayne bicycle and pedestrian path, to run along an abandoned section of the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway right of way, has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Planning staff from Morris County and the path design consultant, NV5, will provide a full briefing on the planned trail segment running from River Road in Pequannock, in Morrris County, to NJ Transit’s Mountain View train statiion in Wayne, in Passaic County.
Meeting attendees will have the opportunityto view the current design plans and renderings of the project, hear updates on the project status and timing, and to ask questions.
The Morris County Board of Freeholders, in a unanimous vote last month, authorized county purchasing officials to move ahead on the bidding process for construction of the pedestrian and bike path.
The bid process will begin once funding is authorized by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The county has submitted final project plans and specifications required for that authorization to NJ DOT. Formal bidding and construction are expected to take place in 2021.
The county is purchasing the abandoned rail right-of-way for creation of the long-planned recreation, hiking and biking trail. The federal government is financing the $20 million project.
The new trail would run from River Drive in Pequannock, near Route 23, connect to the township’s Aquatic Park, and extend to Wayne at Mt. View Boulevard, just a short distance from the NJ Transit Mountain View rail station. It eventually will tie into Passaic County’s Morris Canal Greenway.
The trail will be managed by the Morris County Park Commission. The anticipated 10-foot-wide trail will be similar to the Commission’s very popular Traction Line, which runs from Morristown to Madison, and gets heavy use by with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.
The asphalt trail would be the first of its kind in the Route 23 corridor region of Morris and Passaic counties, and has special appeal because it connects with mass transit. In addition to walkers, hikers and joggers, it would be open to cyclists, strollers, and skaters. Motorized vehicles, such as dirt bikes, would be prohibited.
Pequannock officials hope to post kiosks along the trail and throughout town, pointing bikers to downtown shopping and historic sites.
The idea for the bike path was conceived more than two decades ago by Pete Standish, a Pequannock resident and avid cyclist.
Trains have not run on this section of track for more than a decade. NYS&Ws Pompton Industrial Spur used to serve freight customers along the abandoned portion of track that will now become a formal trail. There also once were commuter trains along that track, as evidenced by the historic rail.