Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peters Brook Greenway Bridge over Rt 202/206 nearly complete

A multi-use bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Rt 202/206, which will be a critical part of the Peters Brook Greenway, is nearing completion.  Late in November, the prefabricated steal truss bridge was finally put into place marking a critical moment and the final stages of this project.  Located on the northwest of edge of Somerville, a quarter mile north of the Somerville Circle and just south of Rt 22, it is hoped that this bridge will provide bicyclists and pedestrians a critical crossing over Routes 202/206 in this congested area that is the junction of numerous highways.  A week or two ago, construction workers were seen pouring the concrete running surface onto the bridge structure and it would seem that all that remains to be done before the bridge is opened is to install protective railings on the ramps, stairs and the bridge itself.

View Peters Brook Greenway - Approximate Route in a larger map

Started in July of 2010, this $3.6 million project will be an extension of the Peters Brook Greenway that runs through Somerville and will one day provide a connection to Bridgewater-Raritan High School on Garretson Road in Bridgewater. The primary reason behind this project is to provide a safe crossing over Rts 202/206 that is NOT provided at the Somerville Circle or any other place within a reasonable distance.

More pictures of the project after the jump.
Bridge ramps and stairs on west side of bridge.
Hopefully there are plans to clean up the gravel and prevent crashes leading up to the pole on this downhill stretch.  Lights from oncoming cars could blind cyclists making them unaware of the pole at night.
Another telephone pole in the trail!
A distant view of the trail leading up to the east side of the bridge.

Currently the trail terminates about 150 feet from the Somerville Shopping Center just to the south.
Construction crews grade the trail behind the Somerville Shopping Center.


Dr. M said...

This is a great start. The problem with many bike paths in NJ is that they are primarily recreational and don't lead to any points of interest. I've ridden the NYC Bike Path which does give access to major stops around town. There are scenic portions too along the Hudson River but the paths are functional for commuting and getting around town. I like you incorporation of Google maps and photos of the project. Well rounded article, very informative.

Andy B from Jersey said...

Dr M,

I couldn't agree more! Some pathways do provide excellent transportation options and this one will as well but only for some. I work at a store at the Somerville Circle and currently will ride my bike through the circle when I decide to commute by bike. Unfortunately, this bridge won't provide much help for me unless I decide to go about a mile out of my way.

However, I do have a colleague who works just on the other side of the bridge and walks or bikes to work as she doesn't have a drivers license. Plus, she lives only about 1/2 mile from work which makes driving rather silly. She is eagerly awaiting the opening of the bridge as it will shorten her commute and she won't have to WALK THROUGH THE CIRCLE.

Andy B from Jersey said...

Oh, and thanks for the compliments. I really had to fight with blogger much longer than I should have to add the photos at the end, so your kind words are much appreciated.

Mike O'C said...

As a Somerville resident (and frequent Greenway rider), I've been waiting for this bridge to open. Just got off the phone with the Bridge sub-dept. of the county Engineering department, and he said it should be open "in a couple of weeks". They're waiting on PSE&G to install lights, and they need to finish one railing.

Behind the shopping center, they've got a new decent-looking loop trail in the woods there ('Clark Woods'). Seems to be part of the larger "Peters Brook Greenway Extension Project".

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