The reconstruction and extension of the Raritan Bay Seawall Trail began on Oct. 2 in Cliffwood Beach.
According to a press release from the Township of Aberdeen, the work started with the demolition of the existing walkway. Completion of the entire reconstruction and extension project is targeted for spring of 2018.
This project followed the grand opening in August of the new Veterans Park in Cliffwood Beach, which is nearby the Raritan Bay Seawall Trail.
The new trail, which will run for one-half mile (mostly behind the original seawall itself) will now feature nine fishing outcrops and 15 outlooks with benches for fishermen, joggers and bay-watchers to simultaneously enjoy the scenic area.
The project will also add a gazebo on the end of the trail closest to the beach near Lakeshore Drive. A five-foot teak boardwalk will connect the new trail to an outlet path on Lakeshore Drive. A total of 38 LED pathway lights and several security cameras will be added for safety and to help combat vandalism.
“Like Veterans Park, the original Cliffwood Beach Seawall Walk sustained heavy damage during past hurricanes,” said Aberdeen Deputy Mayor Margaret Montone. “Since the original walkway’s destruction, the township has been seeking approval from the State Department of Environmental Protection to reconstruct an extended trail to post-Sandy standards. Approvals were received in early 2017.”
While the original seawall walk did not connect to the beach, the new Seawall Trail will connect Beach Drive to Lakeshore Drive, creating a unified recreational infrastructure in Cliffwood Beach for the first time in several decades.
“Taken together with the reimagined Veterans Park, the trail is emblematic of our efforts to restore Aberdeen’s waterfront, allowing residents of all ages to enjoy this natural resource along Raritan Bay,” said Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini. “The beachfront Veterans Park has been a huge hit since its reopening and we expect the trail to once again become a popular destination for fishermen, joggers, as well as folks out for a leisurely stroll along this scenic path.”
Veterans Park, which is located at Ocean Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive, now features a multi-dimensional active and passive recreation area, including a pirate ship-themed spray park for all ages; pirate and tall ship-themed playground areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12; a picnic grove with shade structures; a multi-purpose field for little league, softball, and soccer; a kayak and small water craft launch; a gazebo/band shell; a flagpole and War Veteran’s Memorial Monument.