With a $450,000 state grant in hand, East Windsor Township officials are gearing up for an extension of the Union Transportation Trail through the township.
The grant, which was awarded through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Bikeway Grant Program, will pay for a 3.2-mile gravel extension of the Union Transportation Trail between Old York Road and Airport Road.
East Windsor Township Mayor Janice S. Mironov and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Saccetti announced the grant award at a Jan. 22 press conference that was held at the East Windsor Township Municipal Building.
“This $450,000 state grant is a very exciting announcement for East Windsor Township,” Mayor Mironov said.
East Windsor Township received the largest grant award in the highly competitive grant program. It is one of three municipalities that received a grant. There were 41 grant applications totaling $18.2 million submitted to the state agency.
The township is already in the preliminary design and engineering phase of the trail extension, thanks to an earlier grant of $135,000 from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
The new segment of the Union Transportation Trail will begin where the existing trail stops in the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area at the Mercer County/Monmouth County border.
It will go past the Working Dog Winery and continue over the New Jersey Turnpike at Windsor-Perrineville Road, and connect to a proposed trail head and parking lot near the intersection of Airport Road.
The extension of the Union Transportation Trail will provide access to open space in Mercer County, passing through East Windsor Township’s Turnpike Park and Woods Road Community Park, Mayor Mironov said.
“We are very grateful (for the grant) because these resources are the type of support, which both enables this project to go forward and also underscores our joint goals and mission to expand our bicycle trails and pathways within the township and the region,” Mayor Mironov said.
The 3.2-mile-long extension of the Union Transportation Trail is the most ambitious project that East Windsor Township has undertaken, the mayor said. It has “huge advantages” for the community, and it will be an asset for bicyclists throughout East Windsor Township and the region, she said.
Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the project will create a safe, off-street path for runners, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians.
The Union Transportation Trail is an example of how the Murphy Administration is working to improve the quality of life for residents by promoting healthy, safe alternate methods of transportation, Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.
The Bikeway Grant Program is part of the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Local Aid program, which is funded through the agency’s Transportation Trust Fund.
The Bikeway Grant Program provides $1 million in grants annually to counties and municipalities to promote bikeways as an alternate mode of transportation, supporting the state’s goal of achieving 1,000 new miles of dedicated bikeways in New Jersey.