Middlesex Greenway

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Middlesex Greenway
Length 3.5 mi (5.6 km)
Location Middlesex County, New Jersey
Trailheads Metuchen
Woodbridge
Use Hiking, Cycling
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Easy
Season Year round
Surface Asphalt
Right of way Lehigh Valley Railroad

The Middlesex Greenway is a multi-use trail in New Jersey running from the town of Metuchen to Woodbridge, for a total length of 3.5 miles (5.6 km).[1]

The current trail starts at Crows Mill Road near William Street in the Fords/Keasbey section of Woodbridge, with a 10-foot wide asphalt surface, and ends in Metuchen west of Amboy and Lake avenues. There are 12 entry points along the trail's length. The current trail construction is slated for completion later in 2012. The estimated total cost of the greenway including drainage, gateways, lighting and benches is projected to be $5 million.[2] The Middlesex Greenway Coalition is pursuing expansion of the trail along the right of way east to Perth Amboy and north to South Plainfield.[3]

Trail heads[edit]

  • Metuchen, Middlesex Avenue in Metuchen

History[edit]

The trail's right-of-way originates from the Easton and Amboy Railroad created by the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1875 to haul anthracite coal to a transfer dock in Perth Amboy for subsequent delivery to New York City. The line was eventually consolidated into Conrail with other bankrupt railroads in 1976. The line was abandoned in 1991.[2]

Using open space funds,[4] Middlesex county obtained the property of the abandoned rail line from Conrail in December 2002 for approximately $50,000.[3]

In 2004 Edison officials challenged NJDOT's plan to replace the greenway's original rail bridge with a 140 foot long tunnel-like structure to carry the 3.6-mile greenway under US Route 1. The proposed culvert would have reduced the greenway's capacity to a 14 foot wide by 10 foot high passageway which would have prevented the town's mounted police from traversing the highway.[5] Ultimately the NJDOT agreed to construct a pedestrian bridge in lieu of the culvert.[4]

In 2005 Middlesex County acquired 2.68 acres of land adjacent to the Greenway to build a park along a portion of the right-of-way. The new park provides trail access and parking, the purchase was funded with $1.25 million from Middlesex County and $100,000 from the town of Metuchen.[6]

Work began in early 2010 to surface the trail using $1 million in federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Middlesex Greenway". Edison Greenway Group Website. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "Freeholders To Use Stimulus Funds for Greenway". InJersey Website/News Record. September 1, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ a b Sergio Bichao (November 5, 2010). "Work begins on Middlesex Greenway connecting Woodbridge, Edison and Metuchen". InJersey Website. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Greenway project moves forward". Middlesex Sentinel Website. November 23, 2004. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  5. ^ Elaine Van Delelde (June 9, 2004). "Bridge to preservation not easily traversed". Middlesex Sentinel Website. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  6. ^ Jay Bodas (June 21, 2005). "3 acres set aside for Greenway". Middlesex Sentinel Website. Retrieved 2011-10-20.