Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that Union County has been awarded a $100,000 grant to support a new Rails-to-Trails Feasibility study by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). The project is a collaborative effort between the Commissioner Board, Kenilworth Mayor Linda Karlovitch, Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello III, and local advocates for rails-to-trails projects.
“This grant is the first step in creating a new safe bike and pedestrian travel opportunity in Union County,” said Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The 3.52 mile long railroad track has been unused for over 50 years and the County Commissioners are excited to learn how we can convert it to become a valuable asset to the County.”
The Rails-to-Trails Feasibility Study was designed by the Union County Bureau of Transportation Planning to determine the steps necessary to convert the unused Central Railroad of New Jersey track to commuter friendly trails for cyclists and pedestrians. The railroad track lies between the Township of Cranford and the City of Elizabeth and is bordered by the Borough of Roselle Park and the Borough of Roselle.
“The bike and pedestrian paths that could come from this study are an excellent way to create new opportunities for recreational activities. My colleagues on the Commissioner Board and I are excited to receive this grant and see the Rails to Trails Feasibility Study come into fruition with the support of Mayor Karlovitch, Mayor Signorello, and local residents,” said Commissioner Christopher Hudak.
In addition to offering recreational opportunities, the transformation of the rail into a trail will support the redevelopment efforts of nearby communities and provide additional transportation alternatives between the Raritan Valley Line train station in Cranford and the Northeast Corridor station in Elizabeth.
“The Borough of Roselle Park borders the former Central Railroad of New Jersey and we are excited to see the once overgrown eyesore bloom into a worthwhile attraction to this Borough and County. I would like to thank Councilman Jay Robaina for being a huge advocate for this feasibility study,” said Mayor Joe Signorello.
“The Borough of Kenilworth, Roselle Park and the County Commissioners have been collaborating with one another to convert this unused railroad into a very necessary bike and pedestrian pathway for years,” said Kenilworth Mayor Linda Karlovitch. “During the pandemic, many families sought out ways to stay active while keeping a safe distance; adding this new trail gives residents the opportunity to do just that.”
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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