Home Cherry Hill News Township moves forward with Kenilworth Connector, new fields at Croft Farm

Township moves forward with Kenilworth Connector, new fields at Croft Farm

Cherry Hill Township is moving ahead with a pair of projects designed to placate the needs of local sports teams and one neighborhood on the township’s west side.

Township council has awarded contracts for the construction of two open-space projects designed to improve safety and convenience for residents.

The first project is the installation of a pedestrian pathway stretching from the Kenilworth neighborhood off Route 38 into the nearby Garden State Pavilion shopping center area.

Officially called the Kenilworth Connector Trail project, the new pathway will give residents in the Kenilworth neighborhood easier access to Garden State Pavilion.

“It’s definitely something that’s been in the works for a number of years,” director of communications Bridget Palmer said. “They’ve expressed a need for better access for the amenities out of the Garden State Pavilions shopping center.

Presently, there is no direct vehicle access to the shopping center from Kenilworth. Residents must drive onto Route 38 and loop around to Route 70. The trip can take about 10 minutes to access a shopping center sitting less than a mile from many residents’ homes.

Palmer said residents have been walking to the shopping center for some time now.

“A number of residents for years have been walking through a makeshift path for a number of years,” she said.

The township plans to install a safer passage to Garden State Pavilion with the connector project. The path will stretch from near Kenilworth Playground at the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue and Olive Street and end near the ShopRite and NJ Transit train station at the adjacent shopping center.

“It will be paved and it will be lit,” Palmer said. “It’ll give them direct access to those amenities.”

The cost of the project is $218,277. Most of the money comes from funds appropriated in a roadway, sidewalk and storm drainage improvement bond council approved in 2014.

The township is awaiting permission from NJ Transit since the pathway will wind through its property. Once approved, construction will begin. The township plans to open the pathway later in the fall or early winter.

“We expect to get shovels in the ground by the beginning of fall,” Palmer said. “It should be completed in a couple months from there.”

The other project will take place on an open field next to a gravel parking lot at Croft Farm. Numerous sports teams have used the open space as a practice field, so the township opted to spruce up the area.

“We decided to go ahead and formalize those as two regular multi-use fields,” Palmer said.

The Croft Farm field project includes putting in new topsoil, seeding and fertilization of the playing service, improvements to irrigation, drainage and electrical upgrades. A fence will also be installed around the two fields. The total cost of the project is $422,800.

Palmer said safety at the fields would be drastically improved with the changes.

“Part of the issue we had is damage from ATVs and bikes who have ridden on the field,” she said.

Construction at the Croft Farm field should be complete within 70 days. However, it will take much longer for the new field to be ready for play. Palmer said because of the length of time it will take for the new grass surface to fully grow, it could take up to 12 months before the field is ready for use.

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