Iselin residents have been noticing a lot of activity around Merrill Park, and they were wondering what was going on.
Turns out the Middlesex County Board of Freeholders is engaging on a series of park improvments they say will improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety in what is one of the county's oldest and most heavily used parks.
The county park is located in the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township.
The changes, expected to be completed by this summer, include separate, 10-foot wide paved walking paths for pedestrians, who now share a roadway with vehicles. The project also includes the addition of something known as a "traffic calming device."
Fences have been erected and some trees were removed as part of the first phase of the project with full-time construction to begin at the end of February.
Merrill Park will remain open during construction, with facilities fully accessible by the public. However, vehicular traffic will be limited during construction.
The project will also add 120 parking spaces, 185 new trees and shrubs, pedestrian paths and bridges connecting core areas of the park. Stormwater retention and infiltration basins will be incorporated as part of the project.
The entrance to Merrill Park from Fairview Avenue and New Dover Road will remain open throughout construction. The entrance from Middlesex-Essex Turnpike will be closed during construction. Park patrons are being asked to use the Fairview Avenue entrance.