The original viaduct was opened in 1908, hosting both Model T Fords and trolley cars. However, according to Hudson County Engineer Demetrio Arencibia, it was designed before the demands of automobiles were fully understood, and as a result could only support two lanes of traffic under current standards. After years of damage, the structure was functionally obsolete.
The new four-lane, 1,177-foot long viaduct has been at least 10 years in the making. Scoping began in 2003, followed by construction in August 2011.
Projecting over the din of road striping machines finishing the last stages of the viaduct, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the new structure was a great improvement to her city’s infrastructure. “Not only is it important to our economy and to the important connections between our communities…but it’s built in a way where bicyclists and pedestrians can also safely cross,” she said.
Zimmer was joined by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (D-NJ), U.S. Representative Albio Sires (D-13), Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, and County Freeholders Anthony Romano and Junior Maldonado.
Zimmer also hailed the new public recreation area currently being constructed underneath the viaduct.
What's next for that area? Read more in this weekend's Reporter newspapers.