The Mercer County Park Commission received the Excellence in Design Award for Stony Brook Pedestrian Bridge in Mercer Meadows.
The 500-foot pedestrian bridge opened to the public in July 2020 to connect Pennington and Hopewell Township to Mercer Meadows in Lawrence Township, and offers new trails to park patrons, connecting to the 22-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT).
The Excellence in Design award is based upon the quality of public use, recreation and park facilities, which exhibit unique aesthetics, design, usability and versatility, according to information provided by Mercer County. The New Jersey Recreation and Park Association (NJRPA) Annual Awards Ceremony took place at the Summit Family Aquatic Center in Summit on May 26.
The award was accepted by Aaron T. Watson, executive director of the Mercer County Park Commission; Deputy Director Joe Pizza; Project Manager Herman Snyder; and Leslie Floyd, director of the Mercer County Planning Department.
Mercer Meadows features a wide range of recreational activities while promoting the environment and stewardship. Under the category of Special Use/Other Design, the Park Commission was presented the award representing areas of conservation, accessibility and community.
“The addition of the bridge has enhanced the features of Mercer Meadows, extending a network of trails and creating new routes” County Executive Brian M. Hughes said in the statement. “This has been a great benefit to the community and new visitors to the park throughout the pandemic.”
“I would like to recognize the work of our commissioners, elected officials, the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation and Mercer County Planning Department, who worked collaboratively to make this bridge an important community asset,” Watson said in the statement. “We encourage you all to explore this new area of Mercer Meadows and the LHT either on bike or on foot.”
The Stony Brook Pedestrian Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in New Jersey. It crosses a Category 1 stream, maintains a floodplain, and completes one of the last portions of the 22-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail.