Benches possible on Morris Canal towpath

Photo by Daniel Jackovino Work continues of the Berkeley Avenue Bridge.
Photo by Daniel Jackovino
Work continues of the Berkeley Avenue Bridge.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — After the ongoing replacement of the Berkeley Avenue bridge is completed, Bloomfield residents may be expected to find, on the towpath of the former Morris Canal under the bridge, rest stops using the railing from the old bridge. The bridge crosses over the former Morris Canal towpath and the Second River.

According to Councilman Carlos Pomares, 18 sections of railing were set aside by the county, which is building the new bridge. These sections were put into storage by the Bloomfield Public Works and Parks Department. Pomares said all pieces are of a different length, but each of them is approximately 6 feet long.
Six resting areas are being considered.

Pomares said three sections of railing would be put together to form a small area where a bench can be placed. The six rest stops would be along the former towpath from Wright’s Field to Newark Avenue.

“The three sections of fence would create a seating area 150 feet apart from each other,” Pomares said. “The bridge construction accelerated a need to do something.”

The fencing is made from wrought iron. It would be sandblasted and painted.
“The Berkeley Avenue bridge was one of two bridges remaining of the 250 or so that went over the Morris Canal in New Jersey,” said Rich Rockwell, a Bloomfield resident and Morris Canal historian.

Pomares said the funding needed to make the rest stops could come from a transportation or greenways grant. The new bridge is expected to be completed in June 2017.