Some Worry Lawsuit Will Mean Trail Will Go Unfixed

HIGHLANDS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Legal action threatened by Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg and a local judge is among the reasons why restoration along the Henry Hudson Trail in Monmouth County, N.J., has not been completed in the 11 months since Superstorm Sandy.

The 2.5-mile stretch of the Henry Hudson Trail along Sandy Hook Bay runs between the Monmouth County communities of Atlantic Highlands and Highlands. Residents have said the trail – which was destroyed by Sandy – used to allow them to reach local businesses without using their vehicles and also has been popular with bicyclists.

But Monmouth County officials told the Asbury Park Press that work on the trail was stopped in January, shortly after legal papers were filed by Weinberg and the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Judge Peter Locascio.

Both men have homes along the trail and have filed notice that they may sue the county. They claim work done to create the trail, including the removal of vegetation, created erosion and worsened Sandy’s impact on their properties.

But the possible legal threat is not the only reason the work was stopped.

Karen Livingstone, a spokeswoman for the county parks system, tells the newspaper that officials have not yet identified funding for the work. She also says state Environmental Protection Department permits will be needed if the trail is redesigned to withstand future storms.

“My biggest fear is that Monmouth County might not have the financial or political wherewithal to fight these two guys, and so they end up leaving the trail unfixed,” local businessman Garret Newcomb told the newspaper. “The Bayshore would be so much better off economically if that trail were back in place.”

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