Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by a number of local dignitaries, announced today that the state has begun a project to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Jersey City’s western-most point near the Hackensack river.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
The plan for the HBLR, a critical transit option for Hudson County that sees thousands of riders a day, would extend the train from the West Side Avenue station to a new terminal, approximately one mile west, across Route 440 “to support Jersey Cityâ€™s planned development on the Hackensack waterfront.”
“We are here today together to celebrate the beginning of construction on this exciting and much needed extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail,” Murphy said at the West Side Avenue terminal this morning.
“Extending the light rail will enable more Jersey City residents to get out of their cars and onto mass transit … and enable Jersey City to maximize the potential of the Hackensack River waterfront area for smart redevelopment and economic revitalization,” he added.
The extension project will take three-and-a-half years to complete from the start of construction, officials from the Governor’s office said. The project is currently “its preliminary engineering phase,” which will continue until mid-April.
Officials did not give an exact start date, but said that “early action construction” on the project will continue through the spring.
The city’s west side is actively being developed and will soon see one of the largest mixed use residential developments in the region built.
The $180 million Bayfront Development, slated to be built on 95-acre property on the Hackensack River, was purchased by the city from Honeywell in June 2018. It will include more than 7,000 units: of which, 35% will be made affordable housing units.
“We’re really thankful to the governor’s commitment to this project, and to Jersey City overall,” Mayor Steven Fulop said, calling the Light Rail extension the “single biggest ask for Jersey City over the past several years.”
The planned extension is the line’s first since it was a new stop was built in Bayonne’s First Ward in 2008. Additionally, the project will cost more than $200 million, officials said.
Other officials on hand included Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, and NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett.
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