The New Jersey budget that was approved last week allocates $100,000 towards the Bergen Arches feasibility study in Jersey City, to the delight of a local advocacy group.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This is a tremendous step in the right direction but it is only the first step. We have to maintain momentum and secure additional finances to fully fund the feasibility study,” Bergen Arches Preservation Coalition President Gregory D. Edgell said in a statement.
“Our goal now, will be to raise public awareness about the opportunity we have with the Bergen Arches. The community’s support will be crucial in the coming months. It’s not a done deal but it’s great to see progress.”
State Senator Brian Stack and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33) sponsored a bill that “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.”
From 1910 to 1957, the Bergen Arches provided suburban commuter trains with a direct route to the Erie Railroad’s Hudson River ferry terminal.
In the years since the rail line was decommissioned, the site has seen minimal maintenance, allowing a veritable forest to take root.
The unique environment has piqued the interest of several community groups over the decades.
Perhaps the most vocal advocates for a Bergen Arches reboot, the BAPC successfully secured unanimous approval for the funding proposal via a council resolution in May.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Activating the Bergen Arches would create an 11-mile long, continuous greenway corridor from the Hudson River along the Harsimus Branch Embankment, through the Bergen Arches, all the way to Montclair via the Essex-Hudson Greenway,” BAPC Project Director, Rahid Cornejo, explained.
“This is a chance to diversify transit options, a chance to expand access to nature and active recreation in one of the most developed and densely populated regions in the state.”