Millville’s municipal bicycle path system along the Maurice River should be getting more extensive.
The city on Oct. 17 will seek bids to build an 1,100-foot-long bikeway extending south of Ware Avenue along the east bank of the river.
The project will be financed by $390,000 in state Department of Transportation funds the city received in 2011. The project took so long to start because the city needed to get state Department of Environmental Protection permits, officials said.
The city hopes to start work on the bikeway soon after bids are received on Nov. 4, Millville Assistant City Engineer Rich Jones said. That is because the work must be done around seasonal environmental issues dealing with bald eagles and fish spawning in the Maurice River, he said.
“We don’t want to have the contractor start and then have to leave,” he said.
Meanwhile, the city will seek more DOT funds to finance construction of a planned 1.4-mile bikeway between the baseball fields on Sharp Street and the municipal boat dock off Carmel Road. The route will also travel along Cooper Street and Schoolhouse Lane.
Jones said that project is estimated to cost $350,000.
When finished, the municipality will have a bike path from the boat dock to City Park at Brandriff Avenue, Jones said.
The city has a master plan that in part outlines a need for more alternative forms of transportation. That includes improving and expanding paths for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The 1,100-foot stretch of new bikeway at the southern end of Ware Avenue will extend the 1.5-mile bikeway built in different phases starting in 1999. Future plans for the southern end of the bikeway involve extending it to the city’s public boat launch on Fowser Road.
The city has considered the bikeway project for more than 20 years. Local officials believe it could be a riverfront attraction and a recreation source.
Local officials note the bikeway is near the downtown arts district.
“Implementation of this project will have a positive impact on an important area of the city and will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Millville,” the project narrative reads.
Contact Thomas Barlas: