Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are in all in favor of a Marion Street PATH Station in Jersey City, as shown through separate letters written to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“In understanding the economic impacts resulting from the pandemic, we will look to the developers to fully fund the construction of a two-platform, ten car above-ground station, with minor modifications to existing tracks previously constructed in anticipation of this extension,” Fulop said in his February 1st letter to Peter Simon, the chief of staff to PANYNJ Chair Kevin O’Toole.
“As discussed in recent years with the developers involved, we are confident that the proposed development in the area will pay for the necessary capital improvements … The Marion PATH Station would provide a critical juncture to tens of thousands of our residents and commuters to complement and extend Jersey City’s existing public transit infrastructure while filling the gaps in areas that need it most.”
In March 2018, the Port Authority commissioners agreed to settle a $400 million
lawsuit brought against the PANYNJ by Jersey City.
As part of this settlement, the PANYNJ agreed to conduct a feasibility study to examine building a new PATH station in the Marion neighborhood of Jersey City.
While the PANYNJ at one point pegged the costs at approximately $327 million, a December report from Hatch Associates Consultants says the costs related to physical infrastructure for the station and platform can be completed for $14,942,400.
Fulop told HCV that the city believes the project can be completed for well under $50 million.
“I understand that there are engineering challenges associated with this project, but
if these technical challenges are overcome and sufficient capital becomes available, the presence of a Marion PATH station would benefit the residents of the neighborhood,” Menendez wrote in his March 30th letter to PANYNJ Chair Kevin O’Toole and Executive Director Rick Cotton.
“The addition of a PATH station in the Marion section would provide more access to these residents, as well as to schools and employment. This project would also reduce pedestrian commute time, especially as the city is expected to see a 28% increase in population by 2030.”
He continued that 26.3 percent of households in that neighborhood do not own a car, so alternative forms of transportation are needed.
His son, Rob Menendez, is an 8th District congressional candidate who was appointed to the Port Authority Board of Commissioners last year.
DeGise touched on some points similar to what Bob Menendez did before noting that huge growth is coming to the western part of Jersey City in an undated letter to O’Toole and Cotton.
“In 2021 alone, nearly 1800 new units are scheduled to come online in Journal Square, with another 13,000 already approved in the pipeline. This combined with the additional traffic created by a renovated Lowes Theater, iconic Pompidou Center, and the expanded county presence in the new Frank J. Guarini Justice Complex, will put the already busy Journal Square PATH stop under incredible strain,” he wrote.
“Combining these factors with the reality of climate change, the Port’s committed to their own carbon footprint and the increased onset of flooding, makes the development of a PATH stop for the Marion neighborhood even more critical. Marion has been identified as a future flood zone.”
The January 2020 feasibility report by Hatch reviewed two sites: the Mana development site at 888 Newark Ave. and the Lanterra Development site at 1072 and 1075 West Side Ave.
“Hatch examined two options for locating the proposed PATH station and platform. The first
option, Option A, seeks to minimize property impacts on Fayette Avenue (located to the south of the ROW). The second option, Option B, expands the ROW into Fayette Avenue in order to minimize impacts to the Waldo Running Track,” the 22-page report says.
“Both options incorporate a station platform capable of accommodating a 10-car PATH train (20 feet by 663 feet). Further analysis will be required on both options in order to understand impacts on signals and communication equipment, site drainage, and additional operational considerations.”