Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeBoontonStone Arch Bridge Reopens, Enhancing Boonton’s Historic and Scenic Views

Stone Arch Bridge Reopens, Enhancing Boonton’s Historic and Scenic Views

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BOONTON — Morris County Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw joined Mayor James Lynch, Sheriff James Gannon, and residents yesterday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the historic Stone Arch Bridge.

The bridge, constructed by local mason John Carson Sr. in 1866, initially served as a viaduct providing fire protection for the Boonton Ironworks. It now serves as a pedestrian bridge and overlook for the Boonton waterfalls. It is the only connection across the Rockaway River from Grace Lord Park to the old ironworks.

Town of Boonton Mayor James Lynch is presented a Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund plaque from Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw.

The restoration of the Stone Arch Bridge was completed through efforts of the Board of County Commissioners, the Town of Boonton, and the N.J. Historic Trust.

“The Stone Arch Bridge is the only intact portion of the ironworks remaining,” said Shaw, who also presented a Morris County Historic Preservation plaque that will be affixed to the bridge. “This bridge connects us physically and symbolizes our connection to the past. Its restoration ensures future generations can continue enjoying its scenic views and appreciate its significance as a landmark on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.”

Since the inception of the county Historic Preservation program in 2003, the Commissioners have awarded 533 grants totaling nearly $49 Million to aid in the preservation, protection, and restoration of 123 historical properties in 34 towns throughout the county.

The Stone Arch Bridge was supported with $368,160 in Historic Preservation Trust Fund Grants including:

  • A 2018 grant for completing a Conditions Assessment.
  • A 2019 grant for creating Construction Documents related to preserving and stabilizing the structure, landscape, and architecture.
  • A 2020 grant for stabilization and repair of the masonry structure, including stone cleaning, raking and repointing of mortar, and replacing the concrete bridge deck.

The Grace Lord Park trail providing access to the bridge received $32,000 through the Morris County Trail Construction Grant program in 2021. When the project is complete, it will make the area more accessible to residents and visitors.

“I’d like to thank the commissioners for supporting the Historic Preservation and Trail Construction programs,” said Mayor Lynch. “The trail development at Grace Lord Park will offer more opportunities for hiking, walking, and enjoying the views of the Boonton waterfalls and the Rockaway River. These trails serve recreational purposes and highlight the historical importance of the Stone Arch Bridge and its role in connecting different parts of the park.”

“Today is a wonderful day for Boonton as we reopen this historic bridge,” said Sheriff Gannon. “It’s not just a bridge — it’s a piece of our history that connects us to the beauty of Grace Lord Park and the Boonton waterfalls.”

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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