The Hudson County government has received a $760,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJ DOT) to build the first portion of their Hackensack River Walkway.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I am so pleased that we have been selected to receive this grant. Nearly 40 years ago, the Hudson Riverfront Walkway seemed like a pipe dream,” Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said in a statement.
“But today it is a cherished part of our shared public open space along the water. Our hope is that one day the same will be said of the Hackensack Riverwalk.”
The grant is part of the “Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program” (TAP) that will seek to connect Lincoln Park West, behind the Department of Roads & Public Property building to Duncan Avenue along the Hackensack River, all county property.
This will be the first step toward a hoped for a much larger Hackensack River Walkway.
The grant application was built on much of the work that went into the Hackensack Greenway Plan, which was years in the making by the county’s Division of Planning.
The effort also reflects the value of the Hudson County Hackensack Working Group formed last year with the county’s municipal and regional partners.
“Cooperation was truly key in developing the Hudson County Hackensack Working Group that has driven forward a vision for a Hackensack Riverwalk,” added DeGise’s chief of staff Craig Guy, who is running to succeed him.
“I want to thank all of our municipal and regional partners for their support thus far and as this process to finally provide more public access to the Hackensack Riverfront, perhaps one day a “Platinum Coast” to rival our Hudson River Gold Coast.”
The NJ DOT received more than 100 applications for TAP dollars and 47 were selected based on available funding from federal sources and the total awards for these projects were $122 million this year.
The goal of TAP is to provide funds for community-based, non-traditional surface transportation projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the intermodal system.
In addition to this grant, Bayonne was awarded $1.5 million for its South Cove Pedestrian Bridge Project and Hoboken was awarded nearly $1.4 million for Vision Zero improvements on Willow Avenue.
The challenges remain great for the creation of a Hackensack Riverwalk.
However, planners believe this first section of Riverwalk between Lincoln Park West and the Roads and Public Property Building Duncan Avenue to Duncan Avenue is a great low-risk, high reward way to jumpstart the process, officials said.