Office of the Mayor – West Windsor Township
August 15, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Shing-Fu Hsueh, Mayor
West Windsor Township
West Windsor Township Opens PSE&G Pathway; Naming Contest to begin
Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh announced that the Bicycle/Pedestrian pathway along the Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) right-of-way has officially been opened. “Both sections of the pathway have been completed.” said Mayor Hsueh, “This now provides easy bicycle and pedestrian access to West Windsor residents who live on the northeast side of Big Bear Brook to Community Park and points southwest. We remain very grateful to PSE&G for making this possible.” Other contributors to this recreational trail include the New Jersey Department of Transportation with a $100,000 grant and U.S. Representative Rush Holt who helped to secure a $200,000 federal grant for the bridge.
The PSE&G easement follows what used to be the bed of the Trenton-New Brunswick Fast Line Trolley. Today, remnants can still be seen of the wooden timbers on which the rails rested. The tracks were completed in 1902. At that time, there were only electric power poles which lined the path. Service ended in 1937 after which the tracks were torn out. The path is approximately 3,000 linear feet of eight-foot wide macadam. The bridge over Big Bear Brook, which is designed for bicycle and pedestrian access only, is 8 feet wide and about 135 feet long. No motorized vehicles such as dirt bikes or ATVs are allowed on the trail.
The unique 50-year licensing agreement between the Township and PSE&G for the use of the property and the alignment of the trail was reached in April of 2006. Under the agreement, the Township agreed to indemnify PSE&G from any liability that might result from the public activities on the utility’s easement, which means that the utility will be held harmless from any claims that might be made by third parties. Also outlined in the agreement is the Township’s responsibility to maintain the portion of the utility’s right-of-way burdened by the public license. Don Tretola, regional public affairs manager for PSE&G stated, “This pathway is the culmination of many hours of meetings to resolve numerous issues. This is a unique project and I am pleased to see the outcome. PSE&G has always had an excellent working relationship with this mayor.”
Mayor Hsueh also announced a naming contest for the pathway and the bridge. Suggestions have already been made for the pathway including the Cross Town Trail and the Trolley Line Trail. A suggestion for the bridge was the Pig Town Bridge because one of the stops on the trolley line was Pig Town at the intersection with what is now County Route 571 and Community Park. Suggestions for names may be sent to Ken Jacobs, Manager of Recreation for West Windsor Township. A submission request will be placed on the Township’s website. The contest will continue until the fall when many residents and school children will be returning from vacations. Mayor Hsueh stated, “This is a community trail and bridge and I would like the community to be involved in naming it.”
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