The Secaucus Town Council has approved a resolution supporting plans to improve the Meadowlands Parkway Bridge and approach roadways in the municipality.
“There’s a bridge on Meadowlands Parkway, right next to the Harmon Cove townhouses,” Town Administrator Gary Jeffas told the Hudson Reporter. “It goes over the Norfolk Southern rail lines.”
According to Jeffas, the town is transferring ownership of the bridge to the county as part of the plans.
“We own it currently, but the county is going to be taking the bridge over eventually. They’re working with us and the state on a design to replace it. It’ll be transferred to the county at some point in time, either during or once the work is completed.”
Designs are currently underway for what will be a replacement bridge. However, the county has held public hearings on the matter and a design is near finalization.
“They’re in design on that, and that’s why we had the resolution to support the to continue their efforts to design a replacement of that bridge,” Jeffas said. “It’s about a seven-year project.”
The county estimates the project will take about seven years or so, from design to building it out, according to Jeffas. He described it as a long-term project, which would be funded in some way by the county.
“We’re thankful for the county,” Jeffas said. “They’re doing a lot of parts on the bridge reconstructed. So that’s a big expense in and of itself.”
The county taking on the expenses lifts the burden off the town, which has already been making repairs to the bridge over the years.
“We made some repairs on it a few years ago with some grant money so the bridge is in good shape through its reconstruction,” Jeffas said. “Kind of like a long-term plan for that to happen.”
Adding a bike lane
The designs call for a full replacement of the bridge, according to Jeffas. The new bridge will be adding a walking and bike lane to the bridge.
“We’re looking to add a walking and bike lane to the bridge so that people from Harmon Cove Towers would be able to link up to walkways on the Meadowlands Parkway. Eventually, people will be able to walk in front of Harmon Cove townhouses on Meadowlands Parkway and then that would connect and go over the bridge. You would be able to walk over and then potentially walk down to the train station. Or bike to the train station via Seaview Drive.”
Secaucus currently has a bike lane on a portion of Meadowlands Parkway southbound near the Osprey Cove redevelopment and it connects to the path around Hudson Regional Hospital. The lane, the town’s first, was constructed in 2016 utilizing a $400,000 grant from the Meadowlands Commission.
According to Jeffas, the town is looking to add more in the future. The intention is to use grant funds to support the installation of the bike lanes.
“We have put an application in for a grant a few times,” Jeffas said. “We just haven’t been successful in getting it right now.”
The idea was actually to get a bike lane along Seaview Drive for the purpose of meeting up with a bike lane before the existing Meadowlands Parkway Bridge, over the new bridge, and all the way down to the train station along Scenic Drive. While the grants weren’t successful, the town is looking into alternatives.
“We are going to be repaving that road soon,” Jeffas said. “So we did ask our engineer to look at it, and see if in our repaving process, it was wide enough to potentially work in some sort of bike lane.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.