Search Site
Menu
More information about the Lake Grinnell Bridge Preservation

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Squabble over bridge may stall site’s debut

BY MARGARET McHUGH
Star-Ledger Staff

Stillwater in dispute with Sparta group

A Sparta lake community claims it simply is trying to preserve history by demanding that an unused 1911 one-lane bridge in its neighborhood be kept intact when it is relocated to Stillwater.

Stillwater officials say that is not possible, and that the legal fight could delay the scheduled spring opening of a 46-acre recreation area.

The state Department of Transportation was scheduled to begin a $2.7 million project of replacing the West Mountain Road bridge with a two-lane structure on Monday, but a judge gave the Lake Grinnell Association until yesterday to argue its case.

Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis extended the no-work order until today, but he is ex pected to lift it once the DOT provides evidence that the state Historic Preservation Office approved the use of portions of the timber and stone bridge for a foot bridge at a Stillwater park.

But that likely will not be the end of the fight.

Stuart Lieberman, attorney for the Lake Grinnell Association, said there is a “very realistic chance we’re going to seek further relief” from an appellate court “or some other avenue” if Bozonelis lifts the restraints. He would not say what the other options were.

In the mid-1990s, the DOT and Sussex County decided the 55-foot-long, 17-foot-wide bridge, built over the New York Susque hanna & Western Railroad line, needed replacing.

Stillwater agreed to take the bridge, which the state Historic Preservation Office in 1990 deemed to be eligible for the state and national Registers of Historic Places.

It has been closed to traffic since 2000, when an oversized truck damaged guardrails on it.

Lake Grinnell residents contend an agreement signed in 1997 re quires Stillwater to preserve the bridge as is, and only learned last month that only a small portion of the bridge would be incorporated into a footbridge at Pond Brook Park.

“They feel very much that they were misled,” Lieberman said.

Stillwater attorney Richard Clark told Bozonelis the plan was never to use the bridge as is, noting the pedestrian bridge is only going to be 8 feet wide.

Clark said the township must start work on the bridge before Nov. 1, or the park’s spring opening would be delayed for months, he said.

“Stillwater is in a real bind,” he said.

Clark said the Lake Grinnell residents’ true intent is to keep their neighborhood closed to Route 94 traffic.

“They don’t want the new bridge in its place,” he said.

John Naisby III, 68, a lifelong Sparta resident and association trustee, agreed.

“We say the bridge ought to stay right where it is. It’s not a needed thoroughfare,” Naisby said. He fears a two-lane bridge would lead to heavy traffic and contamination of Lake Grinnell.

“Our duty is to preserve the history, which preserves the environment,” Naisby said.

He also predicts accidents on the neighborhood’s narrow, windy road.

The community was established in the 1880s, and originally housed mostly railroad employees. It consists of 45 homes, most of which are summer cottages, Naisby said.

Margaret McHugh covers the Morris County Courthouse. She may be reached at [email protected] ger.com or (973) 539-7119.

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • Unprecedented storms are slamming NJ – learn how to be the best advocate for your clients when the next flood hits.… https://t.co/TicH6iAjP0
    1 day ago
  • Trenton Water Works has removed 25 percent of lead pipes throughout its service area. https://t.co/KUvhMsJlvU
    2 weeks ago
  • Opposition grows to big warehouses in small NJ towns. https://t.co/CMjgYaPMRP
    2 weeks ago
  • Groups plead with Governor Murphy to stop plans for new gas-fired power plant along the Passaic River in Newark. https://t.co/0yODyXEI3C
    2 weeks ago

Recent Blog Posts

Registration for the NJSBA Flood Summit on January 26th

Register Now for NJSBA Flood Summit, January 26 9:00am to 11:30 via Zoom Stuart Lieberman, Esq. of Lieberman Blecher & Sinkevich PC will moderate the virtual CLE, which will train advocates on
Read More
Registration for the NJSBA Flood Summit on January 26th

Governor Murphy Blocks Vote on Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for a More Indepth Review of Its Effects on the Environment

On January 13, 2022, Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission was to vote on a contract to build a $180 million back up generating power plant for its sewage treatment facility in
Read More
Governor Murphy Blocks Vote on Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for a More Indepth Review of Its Effects on the Environment

Environmental Insurance Dispute to be Heard in New Jersey courts

On December 30, 2021 the Appellate Division of the Superior Court decided Getty Prop. Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. Getty Properties Corp. (“Getty”) filed an appeal
Read More
Environmental Insurance Dispute to be Heard in New Jersey courts

Governor Murphy’s NJDEP Proposes New Rule to Limit Carbon Dioxide Emissions

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s administration proposed a new rule to combat greenhouse gas emissions, just before the start of his second term in office. The New Jersey Department of
Read More
Governor Murphy’s NJDEP Proposes New Rule to Limit Carbon Dioxide Emissions

In The Media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form