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Traction Line Trail Extension Grant Sought by County

Morris County Park Commission application only includes design and engineering work.

The Morris County Park Commission is seeking state funding to have design and engineering work done for a proposal to extend the Traction Line Recreation Trail farther into Madison, according to Madison Mayor Bob Conley.

The mayor said at Monday's Borough Council meeting he received the update in a conversation with David Helmer, the executive director of the Morris County Park Commission.

A Park Commisison engineer approached Madison's governing body two weeks ago to see if the borough would support the project, but was met with unanimous opposition from Borough Council members, though the mayor said he supports the plan.

The commission has heard Madison's concerns, but is proceeding with the application for design and engineering work—not for construction—to see how feasible the project is and to get more input from residents and neighbors, Conley relayed.

There would still be plenty of time for neighbors to provide input on the process, he said.

The design and engineering work hinges on the Park Commission receiving the grant because the Park Commission does not plan to use any county money for that purpose, Conley said.

"If they don't get any funding, it is dead for now," Conley said.

At the Borough Council meeting two weeks ago, some residents and all of the council members said they .

The Traction Line Recreation Trail runs from the Ford Mansion in Morristown along a New Jersey Transit line and ends at Danforth Road in Madison at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Park Commission envisions continuing the 10-foot wide, paved path to Elm Street, running between the rail line and the backyards of Madison homes. It would be extended six-tenths of a mile. The Park Commission estimated engineering and construction costs combined would exceed $500,000.

have said it would promote a connection between Morristown and Madison.

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