Resident’s Crusade to build Bridges (literally) 

Lincroft, NJ -  Finally a bridge, make that two bridges, to somewhere--from Lincroft to Holmdel and back again. The long sought completion of the 4.4 mile Thompson Park Loop was realized this year.  No longer does the jogger, biker or avid walker enjoying the bucolic surroundings of lovely Thompson Park have to detour to the dangerous roadway to continue their journey. The two bridges that complete the loop will be dedicated by The Monmouth County Park System on Saturday, April 21, at 11 am in Thompson Park at Longbridge Road.

This represents a truly unique endeavor since the two bridges were constructed by two different entities. The first bridge (over Marlu Lake) was constructed by the Monmouth County Park System while the second bridge (over Thompson Pond) was built by the Monmouth County Division of Engineering. This is not really surprising since the projects’ completion involved many, many entities; but the projects’ fruition is due in large part to the six and one-half year crusade of Lincroft resident and Lincroft Village Green Director Melanie Elmiger.

lvga_pedestrian_bridge_thompson_1

Pictured are the two bridges that complete the 4.4 mile loop in Thompson Park, which will be dedicated by the Monmouth County Park System on April 21. The bridges’ construction was due in large measure to the advocacy of Lincroft resident and LVGA director Melanie Elmiger, who navigated county and state bureaucracy for six and one half years.

lvga_pedestrian_bridge_thompson_2

LVGA Co-President Walter Horan comments, “Melanie is remarkable. She never gave up and never stopped advocating to the various agencies, departments and individuals that were involved in this process. She is an example of what one person possessed of great passion and sheer determination can accomplish.”

Mrs. Elmiger, for her part, credits the many groups and individuals that came together to ensure the project’s completion. In particular, she recognizes the Monmouth County Parks System and the Monmouth County Engineers as well as Freeholder John Curley.  Mr. Curley acted as intermediary and peacemaker in facilitating a meeting between the Monmouth County Engineers and Christian Brothers Academy (his alma mater) to discuss the proposed plans and air concerns of all parties involved.

She states, “This meeting in November 2010, nearly five years after my own efforts began in advocating for the bridge, is what took the plan off the drafting table and into reality.” She adds, “I do hope that the Monmouth County Engineers and their then liaison Mr. Curley are credited for this achievement, as they faced many obstacles, hindrances, and persistent pestering (the “pest” being me) while designing this bridge.”

With the bridge, The Lincroft Village Green Association comes closer to one of its main goals, to make Lincroft a more pedestrian friendly community.

The Lincroft Village Green Association is a civic association of community volunteers who, since 1999, have been committed to quality of life issues in the village of Lincroft, including traffic calming, safer vehicular and pedestrian circulation, historic preservation and beautification.  For more information on the LVGA please visit our website at www.Lincroft.org.