NJ Transit to vote on $5M contract to begin Jersey City Light Rail extension

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The NJ Transit board is set to vote on a $5 million contract to begin preliminary planning for a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension to Route 440 in Jersey City.

Photo via njtransit.com.
Photo via njtransit.com.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The City of Jersey City is planning for substantial redevelopment and growth at its western edge, along the Hackensack River, with a mix of new residential, commercial, and institutional uses on former industrial sites,” the NJ Transit agenda item reads.

“Major projects planned in the area include Bayfront on the west side of NJ Route 440, the new West Campus of New Jersey City University on the east side of NJ Route 440, and proposed improvements to NJ Route 440 itself.”

The agenda description also contends that the improved transit service to this area will decide the success of this redevelopment.

In a statement released yesterday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop thanked NJ Transit for attempting to move this project forward.

“As Jersey City continues to grow into the largest city in New Jersey, we have worked to
ensure that our local transportation systems can sustain and enhance this growth. I thank NJ Transit for advancing the process in extending the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Route 440 in order to support the future growth of Jersey City’s West Side neighborhood,” he said.

“This expansion will improve connectivity for projects such as Bayfront and New Jersey City University’s new West Campus, and we look forward to working with NJ Transit to further the success of projects such as these, and this important neighborhood.”

The resolution in front of the board at their December 13th meeting calls for a $5 million contract amendment, plus five percent for contingencies, to the Newark-based WSP USA “to initiate preliminary engineering” to extend the Light Rail into Route 440.

The early stages of the project are expected to last through 2018 and bring to total amount authorized to WPA USA to over $156 million.

A spokeswoman for NJ Transit did not immediately return an email seeking comment.