In a Dec. 21 news release, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced $5,850 in funding for a "59th Street Ocean City Boardwalk" at Corson's Inlet State Park.
The grant is part of $1.28 million in funding for 49 trail projects in New Jersey that received money from the Federal Highway Administration's 2011 Recreational Trails Program.
But state DEP spokesman Lawrence Hajna said Thursday that's it's still too early to know exactly what the $5,850 will buy.
"We have not made a decision on specifically where the boardwalk will be placed," Hajna said. "Broadly speaking, it will allow hikers and bicyclists using the trail along the old railroad bed to make a complete loop via Central Avenue."
Hajna was referring to a rail trail (about one-third of a mile long) within the state-owned Corson's Inlet State Park that starts at the boat ramp parking area on the causeway to Strathmere and ends less than 100 yards from West Avenue and 59th Street (Central Avenue is two blocks farther). The trail's surface is hard-packed gravel.
Constructing "a boardwalk-style shared use path segment to connect the Corson's Inlet Trail to the local roadway network at the south end of West Avenue at 59th Street" is one of the opportunities outlined in a report from the state Department of Transportation on creating a safe bicycle corridor to run the length of Ocean City.
The DEP's Hajna did not yet have detail on the exact location, environmental impact or total cost of the proposed boardwalk.
Ocean City Business Administrator Mike Dattilo and Advisory Council on Physical Fitness and Sports chairperson Drew Fasy said they had not yet heard from the state about the plans.
In touting the nearly $1.3 million in federal recreational trails grants have been allocated to 49 projects in New Jersey this year, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said in a news release:
"The quality of life for New Jersey residents is enhanced by the wide and varying network of rural, suburban and urban trails, which connects the fabric of our communities across the state. This links directly to Governor Christie's commitment to preserving open space, and keeping all of our state parks open, to offer a wide variety of affordable recreational opportunities and enjoyment to persons of all abilities, ages and means across the state.''
Recipients are required to provide a 20 percent matching share for each project. Following is a list of approved 2011 recreational trail projects:
Atlantic County Division of Parks and Recreation, Boardwalk Extension in Estell Manor Park: $10,000
Bergen County Department of Parks, Van Buskirk Island County Park: $24,700
Garfield, Passaic River Park Trails: $24,700
New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Relocation of Batona Trail in the Franklin Parker Preserve: $24,700
Camden County Parks Department, Bike Path Improvements in Maria Barnaby-Greenwald Memorial Park: $24,700
Cooper's Ferry Development Association, Pyne Poynt Park Trail Development Project: $24,700
Gibbsboro Borough, Multi-use trail development United States Avenue to Blueberry Hill: $24,700
Cape May County:
Belleplain State Forest, Vine Street Trailhead and Parking Lot (Dennis Township): $9,900
Corson's Inlet State Park, 59th Street Ocean City Boardwalk (Ocean City): $5,850
Maurice River Township, Bicycle Trail Improvements: $11,457
Eagle Rock Reservation Conservancy, Trails Project Completion of the Walking Trail (West Orange): $21,500
South Mountain Conservancy, Inc., South Mountain Reservation Trail Construction and Repair: $24,700
Wenonah Borough, Eldridge Trail Restoration and Footbridge Reconstruction: $24,700
New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, Secaucus Greenway/Mill Creek Point Link: $7,450
Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance, Delaware River Stewardship Initiative: $5,560
Student Conservation Association, Trail Crew, Voorhees State Park (Glen Gardner): $24,700
Student Conservation Association, Trail Crew, Hunterdon County (East Amwell): $24,000
Student Conservation Association, Trail Crew, Round Valley Recreation Area (Clinton Township): $24,700
Division of Parks and Forestry, Central Region, Materials to Support Student Conservation Association Roving Trail Crews: $24,700
Mercer County Park Commission, Trenton to Trails (Hopewell): $22,870
Ewing Township, Johnson Trolley Line Trail Improvements: $24,700
Hamilton Township, Veterans Park Signage, $19,100
Hopewell Township, Lawrence-Hopewell Trail (Section 17): $24,700
Pennington Borough, Connection to Lawrence-Hopewell Trail: $24,700
Princeton Township, Quaker Road Pathway (Segment 3): $24,700
Delaware & Raritan Greenway Land Trust, NJ Trails Association Trail Mapping: $12,000
Lawrence-Hopewell Trail, Inc., Carson Road Woods (Segment 20-Lawrence Township): $24,700
Delaware River Greenway Partnership, Delaware River Water Trail Signage (Trenton): $24,600
D&R Canal State Park, Utility Vehicle (Princeton Township): $22,000
Cheesequake State Park, Green Trail Walkway (Old Bridge Township): $24,680
Rutgers University, Trails Development in Rutgers EcoPreserve: $8,509
Millstone Township, Doctors Creek Trail Loop Project: $22,900
Morris County Park Commission, Patriot's Path West Morris Greenway Extension (Randolph): $24,700
Mine Hill Township, Dickerson Mine Preserve Trail Network: $24,365
Morris Township, Jones Woods Trail Extension, $8,900
Roxbury Township, Horseshoe Lake Connection-West Morris Greenway: $23,000
Ocean Township, Municipal Trails Program-Phase One Improvements: $24,700
Double Trouble State Park (Berkeley), Grading and Multi-use Trail System: $2,400
Forest Resource Education Center (Jackson), Expanding Trail Opportunities: $22,460
Passaic County, Pompton Aquatic Park Trail Project (Pompton Lakes): $21,500
New Jersey Geological Survey, Trails Map for Wawayanda State Park (West Milford): $14,900
Duke Farms Foundation, Conservation Trail at Duke Farms (Hillsborough): $24,700
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, Six Mile Run Trail (Franklin Township): $1,050
Byram Township, Brookwood Park: $19,165
Newton, Sussex Branch Trail Pedestrian Bridge: $24,000
Allamuchy Township, Allamuchy Recreation Trail: $24,700
Delaware River Greenway Partnership (Hunterdon, Mercer, Warren), Delaware River Water Trail Signage: $24,600
Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners (Passaic, Essex counties), Passaic River Blueway Map and Guide: $24,700
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association, Trail Signage, Mapping, (various locations): $13,860