JERSEY CITY – The city announced Tuesday that work will soon begin on the installation of a new footbridge between Jersey City’s downtown community and Liberty State Park. An old footbridge that had connected the two areas was washed away last fall during Hurricane Sandy.
Weather permitting, installation of a new prefabricated bridge should be completed by June, according to press release issued by the city.
Since the beginning of the year, Clifton engineering firm T&M Associates has been working with the city’s engineering department on a design for the new bridge.
“We know how important this piece of infrastructure is to our residents, and that is why worked quickly with our Office of Emergency Management officials and our engineering staff to find a way to expedite the replacement of the Jersey Avenue footbridge,” said Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that we will be able to open this bridge for use in the summer months.”
The bridge, which will provide vital pedestrian and cyclist access into and out of Liberty State Park, will cost approximately $750,000.
Money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover 75 percent of the repair and rebuilding costs, Healy Chief of Staff Rosemary McFadden said in January. The city is lobbying to see if infrastructural repairs related to hurricane damage can be reimbursed at 100 percent. Should this effort be unsuccessful, the city will have to pay for the remaining 25 percent of rebuilding costs.
Until it collapsed into the Mill Creek Basin during Hurricane Sandy last fall, the bridge, located about two blocks past Jersey City Medical Center, allowed easy access from downtown to Liberty State Park, including Liberty Science Center. The route was often used by cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians as a convenient path to Liberty State Park. Since the destruction of the bridge, thousands of downtown park visitors have had to take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail or drive, and people who live in Lafayette have lost quick access to downtown. – E. Assata Wright