On the heels of the recent awarding of a $19 million grant, Camden County officials gathered July 10 at the Camden Waterfront to discuss plans to further develop the LINK Trail.
Funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability & Equity (RAISE) Grants Program, officials and stakeholders say the grant will be used to construct three critical LINK segments in Camden and Pennsauken Township, consisting of about 3.8 miles of new, paved shared-use paths and multiple complex bridge structures.
When completed, the Camden County LINK Trail will travel through 17 Camden County communities, stretching from the Ben Franklin Bridge to the Pinelands National Reserve in Winslow Township. It will also be part of the Circuit Trails, one of America’s largest trail networks, linking nine counties in South Jersey and Pennsylvania to more than 800 miles of interconnected multiuse trails.
“This is a transformative project that will enhance the lives of our residents and visitors even further,” said Commissioner Jeff Nash, liaison to the Parks Department. “We see the importance in investing in accessible, top-quality outdoor spaces and we are thrilled that the Department of Transportation feels the same way. Paired with our ongoing $100 million parks revitalization initiative, Camden County is on track to becoming a top outdoor activities destination on the East Coast.”
“The Camden County LINK Trail has been designed to connect people and places in South Jersey,” said U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-1st District, a longtime advocate for the project. “I am excited to announce this $19 million to expand and improve the trail for people throughout the region to enjoy.”
“This trail will not only provide residents and visitors with ample space to exercise but it will also connect people from numerous communities to different municipalities, businesses, employment opportunities, parks and open spaces,” Nash added. “And an added bonus from the project will be the inevitable economic development in the areas along the trail.”
Officials note that in addition to the enhanced opportunities for physical activity, the trail will also cut down on the number of cars on the road, creating a safer environment for cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers, while improving air quality with less pollution.
“This massive award is a testament to the commitment of the county, its board of commissioners and the many advocates who have fought for years to reconnect Camden’s neighborhoods currently separated by highways,” said Justin Dennis, New Jersey vice chair of the Circuit Trails Coalition. “Thanks to these efforts and this critical funding, Camden residents will soon be able to access safe routes and bridges to be active and enjoy their local and regional parks, trails, and business districts. This is a great example of how more New Jersey counties can tap into available federal dollars to connect their communities to active transportation networks and the Circuit Trails.”