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Engineering firm French & Parrello Associates will design shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path extension

The Princeton Council has hired an engineering firm to design the Cherry Hill Road shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path extension, between Foulet Drive and Crestview Drive.

French & Parrello Associates will be paid $113,785 for its work, which also includes preparing construction bid documents. Those documents will be used when the town advertises for bidders for the project.

There is already a shared-use bicycle and pedestrian path on Cherry Hill Road, between Route 206 and Foulet Drive. The town now is extending it from Foulet Drive to Crestview Drive on the ecologically sensitive Princeton Ridge.

Princeton received a $750,000 state grant last year toward the cost of extending the path, which is estimated to cost $824,927. The grant was made through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Bikeway grant program.

The project will include some tree removal and replanting, and slope excavation and the installation of a retaining wall, officials said. Boulders and bedrock may be encountered in the construction area.

The project is one phase of the goal to extend the pedestrian and bicycle path to the intersection of Cherry Hill Road and Cherry Valley Road, officials said. The existing pathway is asphalt.

Cherry Hill Road is the main route from the north/central residential areas to the schools and the Princeton Municipal Complex, officials said. The all-weather path will provide a valuable connection between residential developments to the Community Park School, the Princeton Middle School and Princeton High School.

Students who live within two miles of an elementary school and within 2.5 miles of the middle school and high school are designated as “walkers” if a walkable route exists – a sidewalk or paved path, officials said.

But the lack of a sidewalk or paved path north of Foulet Drive means those neighborhoods have been designated for hazardous routes busing, which is paid for by the town, officials said.

The project, which had been requested by the adjacent neighborhoods, will allow approximately 14 students to be removed from the hazardous busing routes, officials said.