The Brick Township council has awarded a contract that will expand an existing bike path to a picturesque section of town near Barnegat Bay.
The $168,623 contract, awarded to High Safety System Inc. of Hammonton, will be funded through the state's Bikeways program as part of a grant the township received in 2011.
The project will open up the township’s Airport Tract bike path to the Seawood Harbor neighborhood, as well as provide additional path openings along the trail.
According to bid specifications, the new trail will be more than a half-mile long and six feet wide. The contract also calls for wetlands restoration, landscaping, test pits, fencing, signage, traffic and erosion control associated with the trail extension.
It will run along Saint Lawrence Boulevard, Holly Avenue, Nokomis Avenue and Knoll Crest Avenue.
Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said the ultimate plan is to continue the expansion of the path.
"There are hopes that we can get a couple easements and run this all the way down to the beach area," he said. "That way they would only have to go on the road for a little bit, go over the Mantoloking Bridge and actually access the beach."
The township maintains two bike paths, one in the northern portion of the township and one in the southern portion. The northern path, known as the Sawmill Tract, runs for approximately two miles and connects Brick Memorial High School, Colorado Park, Havens Farm, Sawmill Pond and Sawmill Creek, and Burnt Tavern Road.
The southern portion – which will be expanded – is known as the Airport Tract. It runs for 1.7 miles and connects Cherry Quay Road, the Edmund Hibbard Athletic Complex, Sky Manor Boulevard, Drum Point Road and the Waterside Gardens apartment complex.
Joe Dee, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, said the grant money is distributed to municipalities after a contract is awarded for an approved project.