Somerset County freeholder Denise Coyle speaks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Cloverleaf Drive pedestrian bridge in New Jersey. Joining her, left to right: Ken Scherer, Somerset County free-holder, deputy director; Robert Zaborowski, Somerset County freeholder; and Dennis Keck, assistant commissioner of planning and development with the New Jersey DOT. Photo: Schoor DePalma
The recent ribbon-cutting dedication of the Cloverleaf Drive Pedestrian Bridge near Bridgewater and Somerville, N.J., marked a milestone for county, municipal, and state agencies working in concert toward ensuring pedestrian safety.
The Regional Center Partnership—a multi-town coalition comprising the Bridge-water, Raritan, and Somerville municipalities—initially formed to examine common infrastructure solutions that included investigating various ways for pedestrians to safely cross Cloverleaf Drive between municipalities. The result of the partnership was construction of a bridge that enables pedestrians to safely cross a high-speed ramp off Route 22 between Somerville Borough and the Bridgewater Commons Mall. It eliminated an at-grade pedestrian crossing that averaged more than 300 crossings per day.
“Through the collective efforts and dedication of the people and agencies from the local, county, and state levels, we have created something very wonderful and unique here,” Denise Coyle, freeholder of Somerset County said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 22. “It is also proof of what can happen when agencies on these levels work together to become a model of cooperation for the state.”
Schoor DePalma, an engineering firm in Manalapan, N.J., performed layout and design of the structure. The 428-foot pedestrian bridge is defined by a 212 foot steel arch with approximately 650 feet of associated approach walkways.
The $2.5 million bridge was funded by the New Jersey DOT under the direction of commissioner Jack Lettiere.