WARREN COUNTY, NJ – Warren County’s Waterloo Valley Trail Bridge Project is one of 13 projects selected nationwide for the 2021 Thomas Petri Recreational Trails Program Achievement Award given by the Coalition for Recreational Trails.
While normally held on Capitol Hill, this year the awards were held during a virtual ceremony.
The Waterloo Valley Trail Bridge Project was selected from among more than 50 nominations nationwide. The awards – honoring former U.S. Representative Tom Petri (WI) – specifically recognize outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds, which have historically supported states in developing and maintaining recreational trails and trail-related facilities around the country.
Created in 1991, the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been key to more than 30,000 projects and programs during its history. Following creation of RTP, the nation’s leading national trails organizations united to form the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) for advocacy, to provide support to local trail programs and tell the stories of the program’s successes.
The RTP is a federal discretionary grant program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. States award and administer federal funding to local government and nonprofit sponsors to develop and maintain land and water-based recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail users.
Accepting the award on behalf of the County, Warren County Land Preservation Department Director Corey Tierney thanked everyone involved with the project, including the National Recreational Trails Program, the New Jersey Trails Council, the New Jersey State Park Service, the Warren County Board of County Commissioners, the staffs of the County’s Planning and Preservation departments and Public Works Department’s Division of Bridges, the Warren County Parks Foundation, and all of the volunteers who helped with this project.
The 60-foot long trail bridge was installed by the county over last winter and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held June 5, 2021. Since then the County has seen a significant increase in trail use.
Part of the Morris Canal Greenway, the Waterloo Valley Trail Bridge is accessible from County property along Bilby Road in Hackettstown. Heading east, the trail passes through the 2,400-acre Allamuchy Mountain State Park, with several trail intersections that offer visitors an extensive range of hiking options.
“Thanks to the leadership of Corey Tierney, county staff and the many groups that continued to promote the importance of Waterloo Valley Bridge,” Warren County Board of Commissioners Director James R. Kern III said. “We have seen now more than ever the demand for open space recreation, and Warren County will continue to support these projects.”
U.S. Representative Josh Gotteheimer congratulated Warren County on the award, saying, “For decades now, the Coalition has worked tirelessly to educate and promote the thousands of natural trails our great country has to offer. I’m so proud this year the amazing Waterloo Valley Trail Bridge by Warren County is finally being recognized.”
“The County’s cost-effective public-private partnerships to help move work on the bridge forward have proven to be a huge success for our community. Connecting one of the county’s largest population centers to one of the state’s finest parks, it is a model example of how partnerships increase accessibility to some of the most beautiful areas of our great state,” Gottheimer said.
For more information about the awards and the Waterloo Valley Trail Bridge, click here.