Rail Trail Expands to Cedar Creek With New Trestle

By Eric Englund | Nov 13, 2019
Courtesy of: Ocean County

Lacey Township — A significant connection in the trail joining Berkeley Township with Lacey Township was recently highlighted during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new trestle that sits above Cedar Creek.

“This is a key connection on the Barnegat Branch Trail,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines, who is liaison to the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation. “This trail is becoming a true recreational and historical centerpiece. It is well traveled by walkers, joggers and bicyclists. It provides a host of benefits not the least of which is being outside in the fresh air and enjoying nature’s beauty.”

Ocean County has completed seven phases of the trail, which includes almost 8 contiguous miles from the starting point in Barnegat Township at Burr Street to Lacey Road in Lacey Township. In addition, more than 3 miles from Dudley Park at Cedar Creek in Lacey Township to Hickory Lane in Berkeley Township have been completed. When done, the linear park will span about 16 miles.

“This trail and the ongoing work to move it to completion truly complements Ocean County’s open space program,” Haines said. “The trail represents a great part of our history. It protects our environment, and it highlights areas of the county many residents may never have been able to access.”

She said the phase of the trail construction also includes the creation of the 10-foot-wide stone dust trail on the Lacey Township side, creating a formal parking lot at Hebrew Park and installing interpretive signage, benches, a railroad hand car display and picnic tables.

Work to install the new trestle – a 150-foot-long prefabricated weathered steel span – over Cedar Creek at Berkeley and Lacey townships began earlier this year.

“The placement of the new trestle above some of the pilings of the original trestle allowed the county to maintain some of the historical features of the area while providing a safe path of travel for trail users,” Haines said.

The structure is the longest clear span of any of the county’s bridges. Prior to installation, it was shipped in two 75-foot sections. It was constructed in Alabama and made its way to Ocean County on two flatbed trailers.

The trestle provides the connection to the existing 2.75-mile trail from Cedar Creek to Hickory Lane in Berkeley Township.

“This section offer residents and visitors better access to Cedar Creek – an environmental jewel in the county,” Haines said. —E.E.

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