Pennington residents and fans of Mercer Meadows and the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) celebrated the opening of the Stony Brook Pedestrian Bridge, which will provide safe access from Pennington Borough and Hopewell Township to the 1,600-acre county park, in a virtual “ribbon-cutting” released on July 8.
The celebration commemorates the latest development in the long-standing relationship between the Mercer County Park Commission and the LHT.
“Mercer Meadows Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the northeast, is a favorite destination of the many fans of the LHT. The Stony Brook Pedestrian Bridge will provide a much safer, family-friendly way to enter the park from Pennington, Hopewell and other communities west of the park,” LHT trustee Jill Young, an early advocate for the bridge, said in a prepared statement. “We applaud the Mercer County Park Commission for constructing the bridge.”
Aaron Watson, executive director of the Mercer County Park Commission, said in the statement, “The bridge is part of a strategy to encourage more people of all ages to enjoy the park and the LHT by removing concerns about a difficult road crossing.”
“The opening of the bridge in time for the July 4th weekend could not have come at a better time,” County Executive Brian Hughes said in the statement. “This bridge is the perfect metaphor for the long-standing partnership that created the LHT, which bridges communities; state, county and local governments; corporate partners, and land preservation groups.”
Joining Hughes and Watson in the virtual opening were Hopewell Township Mayor Kristin McLaughlin, Pennington Mayor Joseph Lawver, and Lawrence Township Engineer Jim Parvesse.
More than 20 miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail is complete, with about two miles of the loop remaining to be built. Completion of the LHT is expected in about three years, according to the statement.