The city is looking to improve passive and active recreation around Lake Takanassee by building pedestrian and bike paths around it.
City engineer Gerald Freda gave a brief presentation of the project at Tuesday night's Long Branch Council meeting.
Freda said the city is applying for a $250,000 Open Space grant to help pay for the project, which is estimated to cost $650,000. Freda said the city has also applied for a New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) grant to help pay for the costs, and said if those two grants are received, more than two-thirds of the total cost of the project would be paid. He said there are other grants the city could apply for to pay for the remainder of the project.
Freda said there are DEP permits needed to do any work at the the lake and that the city is still trying to secure those.
"Until we can get DEP approval, we can't really identify the scope of the project," Freda said.
Freda explained that the pedestrian path would be around the perimeter of the lake and that the bike path could either be located directly next to it or be placed further out onto the streets surrounding the lake, North Lake Drive and South Lake Drive. Regardless of which option the city chooses, the streets would remain two-way streets, and some parking spaces would be lost on North Lake Drive.
Councilwoman Joy Bastelli said by placing the two paths closer together, the number of parking spaces lost could be minimized. Freda agreed and said the best design possible would be chosen.
"I feel like there's enough room to make everything work," Freda said. "It does all fit, it's just a matter of how we do it."
Freda said the bike path would also tie into the bike trail that runs north and south through the city.
City Business Administrator Woolley said the project would improve the lake bank, which is eroded in a number of places.
"People can't fish or enjoy the area, and this would create a safe pedestrian walkway," Woolley said. "I think it's a great project and it's sorely needed."
Freda said he expects to find out if the city will receive either grant by February.