The Jersey City Council approved a resolution for a $100,000 state funded feasibility study of the Bergen Arches, specifically how to address transit and green space need, at last week’s meeting.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The Bergen Arches are a mile-long, 60-foot wide former railway corridor that runs roughly parallel with Route 139 from Palisade Ave. to just west of Tonnelle Avenue.
The state legislation, sponsored by state Senator Brian Stack and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (both D-33), calls for the “supplemental appropriation of $100,000 to DCA for disbursement to Jersey City to examine mass transit and green space needs at Bergen Arches.”
The feasibility study would be the first step in assessing the Bergen Arches’ potential for adaptive re-use and in determining how the former railway, which was decommissioned in 1957, can best serve Jersey City, Hudson County, and New Jersey.
The council resolution, spearheaded by Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano, acknowledges the Bergen Arches’ historical significance while focusing on future opportunities to expand publicly accessible green space and provide more transit options to Jersey City residents.
The Bergen Arches Preservation Coalition (BAPC) has been advocating for public access to the Bergen Arches site since 2018. BAPC members in attendance were bolstered by language in the resolution recognizing shared-use paths for cyclists and pedestrians within the Bergen Arches.
“The Bergen Arches are a critical link in connecting the Essex-Hudson Greenway and the Harsimus Branch Embankment. This growing network of shared-used greenways will provide safe biking and walking routes through our communities and improve access to green space for more Jersey City neighborhoods,” BAPC Project Director Rahid Cornejo said in a statement.
“Progress in the near-term is a top priority. The Bergen Arches have been locked away for more than six decades; Jersey City is finally ready for that to change,” added BAPC President Gregory D. Edgell.
The state budget is still in the process of being finalized and the council resolution is merely symbolic.
The Bergen Arches Preservation Coalition has set up an automated page to send letters to local legislators. Anyone wishing to voice their support for a Bergen Arches feasibility study may do so here.