Somers Point, NJ 08244 improving soon and getting wider on the their Bike

Dated: 12/06/2019

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Somers Point, NJ 08244 Improving soon and getting wider on the their Bike path By Gary Simmens
SOMERS POINT, NJ 08244 — The city of Somers Point will soon expand the width of its bike path up to 4 feet to accommodate the influx of pedestrians and bicyclists who use it.
With a $1.4 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the city will pour new asphalt, replace 81 lamp posts along the path, install flashing beacons at crosswalks and update access points to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, city engineer Greg Schneider said.
“It’s being widened because of the number of pedestrians and bicyclists who use it, especially during schools hours,” Schneider said.
Currently, the bike path is 10 feet wide. The city is widening about 80% of the path, with the widest parts — 14 feet — being near the Dawes Avenue and New York Avenue schools. Other areas will be widened to 12 feet.
The bike path, which lies between New and Shore roads, is about 2 miles long within city limits. The entire path is 6.5 miles long and runs from Pleasantville to Somers Point.
It could run longer in a few years. The city received $130,000 in the spring to develop a path for pedestrians and cyclists that would connect the southern end of the bike path with a state-funded route over the new Garden State Parkway bridge into Cape May County that will take two to five years to complete.
A contract to replace the lights was awarded to Kane Communications, a Central Jersey-based electrical and communications company. Schneider said subcontractors will complete the asphalt work.
City Council has also passed a resolution to name the bike path within city limits Purple Heart Way in honor of local Purple Heart recipients, Mayor Jack Glasser said. The Purple Heart is awarded to military members who have been wounded, killed or died from an injury while in service.
“Along the bike path, not only do we have the (war) memorials but the VFW sits right along the bike path as well as the American Legion,” Glasser said. “It just makes sense, and we have a very strong veterans community here.”
The existing bike path lies near the old Shore Fast Line, a trolley line that ran from Atlantic City to Ocean City by way of the mainland in the early 1900s. It was then turned into a railway line before being converted into a bike path in the late 1970s, Glasser said.
“We want to improve it,” he said. “And there’s so much more emphasis on healthy lifestyles.”
Work to replace the lamp posts will begin this winter, weather permitting. The widening portion of the project is slated to begin in the spring, with plans to be completed by summer.

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