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Barnegat Branch Trail Construction Contract Set to be Awarded

Construction of Phase V of the recreational trail, in the southern section of Lacey, should begin soon

Construction should begin in the coming weeks on the next 2-1/2 miles of the Barnegat Branch Trail, as the Ocean County Board of Freeholders is set to award the contract for that construction at next week's meeting.

The contract, to M.L. Ruberton Construction of Hammonton for "an amount not to exceed $985,696.81," according to the preliminary agenda released at Wednesday's pre-board meeting, is for Phase V of the trail, from Bay Parkway in Waretown to just south of Lacey Road.  A grant of $350,000 from the state Department of Transportation is helping to fund the project.

has been described by Freeholder James F. Lacey as the most difficult to design, because of the challenges associated with crossing four bodies of water (the north and south branches of Oyster Creek, Middle Creek, and Cedar Lake), because of the need to work with Exelon Corp., owner of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, on passages near the plant, and because of multiple road crossings as well.

Once this phase is completed, it will create a 7-mile contiguous stretch of the linear park, from just south of Lacey Road (the trail will terminate at the parking lot of the United Methodist Church on Lacey Road) to the southern terminus in Barnegat.

Other sections of the trail remain in the planning stages at this time. The most contested section is the portion from the southern edge of William J. Dudley Park in Berkeley, at Cedar Creek, to the north side of Lacey Road. That portion has been the subject of an ongoing battle between township officials, who want to build a road along the old rail bed, and groups fighting to keep the path limited to a recreational trail.

Further north, the trail is slated to go from the northern side of Maryland Avenue in Berkeley (where the current Berkeley portion ends) through Beachwood, and, paralleling Route 166, into Toms River.

enough is enough September 14, 2012 at 01:52 AM
save it dont pave it
AresidentWITHaBRAIN September 15, 2012 at 07:28 PM
The bypass road you speak of would be more for the locals who would like to avoid the traffic on route 9. When I'm coming home from Home Depot or Shop Rite I would rather take a road properly designed for the bypassing of Rt 9 then my current route down Lake Barnegat. Something needs to be done to address the traffic on Rt 9, and the state has no interest in widening it.
Sailor September 15, 2012 at 07:56 PM
AresidentWITHaBRAIN: I agree with you that a bypass road might have some [small] benefit for locals; in fact, I often use Lk Barnegat Dr myself. However, the Township never stated that it was intended primarily for local traffic. If you view the plans you will see that the design will likely siphon off southbound local/visitor traffic indiscriminately, especially when the driver is unfamiliar with our area. I think the real problem here goes back many years. Apparently, little if any forethought was given to future growth or how to handle it. Because of this ineptitude in planning it seems that, bypass or no bypass, our traffic mess is here to stay.
proud September 16, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Then what would happen when the dopes from the county TRY to put a SAFE bike path crossing in the vicinity that you speak of? Traffic snafu anyone?

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