River Greenway Project (formerly River Corridor Project)
Since the early 2000s, South Orange has been working to create a Greenway along the East Branch of the Rahway River, running from W. Montrose Avenue to Maplewood. A greenway is a corridor connecting parks and other open spaces, providing a place for car-free walking, biking, and scootering, while also protecting waterways and natural habitat.
We completed the first phase of the Greenway (in two parts) in Meadowland Park between 2008 and 2014, using $4 million in federal, state, and county funds. The existing Greenway bike/pedestrian path and bridges run from Meadowbrook Lane past Floods Hill and the South Orange Pool to South Orange Avenue. This construction was based on the River Greenway Master Plan, prepared by Rhodeside and Harwell and issued by the Village of South Orange in 2007.
The second phase of the project, expected to begin in summer 2023, will complete a pathfrom Third Street through Waterlands Park to Chyzowych Field, near the Maplewood border at Parker Avenue. A new bridge will carry the Greenway over the river past the DPW yard and the former pump house. We have already raised $2.7 million; as with the earlier phase, the largest source is a federal non-motorized transit grant, supplemented by state and county funds.
Phase 3 of the Greenway will address the gap between South Orange Avenue and Third Street, and Phase 4 will provide pavement striping and signage, to create a walk and bike connection to near the border with Orange. We also hope to preserve more land adjacent to the Greenway, to protect habitat and water quality.