Byway to be extended to Waterloo Village
BYRAM. The Township council has passed a resolution to sponsor the extension, which is adjacent to the Morris Canal and provides views of the historic waterway and its locks.
By Mandy Coriston
The Byram Township Council passed a resolution in May to sponsor the extension of the Warren Heritage Scenic Byway to Waterloo Village. The byway was designated as such by the state in 2009, and currently encompasses just over 19 miles of Route 57, running northeast from Greenwich Township and ending at mile marker 21.1 in Hackettstown. The extension would route the byway along Route 46 to CR 604 (Waterloo Road) which passes through Stephens and Allamuchy State Parks before entering Sussex County and terminating at Route 206 near Waterloo Village.
Both the federal and the state Scenic Byways program were begun in 1991, and the designation is allotted to public roads which meet a series of criteria, which include outstanding natural beauty and historic or cultural significance. To achieve the designation in New Jersey, a two-part application and sponsorship must be submitted and approved. There are currently eight approved Scenic Byways throughout the state, which must continue to meet the guidelines in order to maintain the designation and receive funding for upkeep and promotion of economic and tourism development.
The Warren Heritage Scenic Byway is adjacent to the Morris Canal, and provides views of the historic waterway and its locks. The route is also built on what was once a hunting and fishing traverse of the indigenous Lenni Lenape tribe, and later a turnpike and trade road for settlers. It provides views of the Lopatcong and Pohatcong Creeks, as well as the Musconetcong River; Point, Pohatcong, and Scott Mountains dot the landscape between forests and farms. The Scenic Byway is sponsored and supported by a committee from the six municipalities through which it runs: Greenwich Township, Franklin Township, Hackettstown, Mansfield Township, and the Township and Borough of Washington.
Byram Councilman Scott Olson, who is always vocal about his desire to build up Byram while still preserving its history, authored Resolution 118-2019 to support the extension.
“Waterloo Village is so important to the culture and economy of Byram,” Olson said, “If the Scenic Byway is extended to Waterloo, it will draw more people into town as they begin or end their journey along the route.”
Olson feels bringing more ecotourism would work towards fulfilling the town’s vision for the future.
“We want people to come and use our trails, and visit our stores and gas stations,” he said, “The Scenic Byway would be a key economic driver, a boost for business. It fits well into our economic plan.”