Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, September 12, 2016

Plainfield's mysterious bridge to nowhere

Two views of new mystery bridge construction across the Green Brook.

Work is progressing on what appears to be new bridge in Plainfield's Green Brook Park.

The construction is under way where the Green Brook passes the entry to the playground area in the park (see map).

I think of it as Plainfield's "bridge to nowhere". (Some readers will recall the reference to former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' proposal for a $368M bridge to an island with 50 residents.)

It's not a question in my mind of the expense, but the purpose, since it appears to go to an unused portion of the North Plainfield section of the park.

When I noticed excavation equipment at the site about a month ago, no one seemed to know what it was about. At the August Council meeting that took up support for the improvements to Cedar Brook Park (see post here), I asked the county's Parks and Recreation Director, Ron Zuber, what was going on. He told me he knew nothing about any work at Green Brook Park.

There had been a small footbridge, similar to those in Cedar Brook Park, that connected the Plainfield portion to the ballfields on the North Plainfield side (Union County administers the portion in North Plainfield), but it was destroyed in a flood sometime after 2009.

Map shows location of original footbridge and new construction.

As it happens, I entered a photo of the Green Brook footbridge in the Plainfield Public Library's 2009 photo contest. Here is that photo --

Original footbridge to ballfields on North Plainfield side,
taken in 2009.

I recently ran into North Plainfield Borough Clerk Rich Phoenix at the QuickChek. (Folks will recall Rich often assisted former Plainfield City Clerk Laddie Wyatt at Council meetings -- he was well-known for his smooth delivery in reading proclamations.)

I asked Phoenix if he knew anything about the project, and he was puzzled, saying he had heard nothing of it.

So, the mystery continues.

Will it be the replacement for the old footbridge, though at a different location? Or will it be more than just a footbridge?

We will have to wait to see.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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