Officials in Newark are once again looking to move forward with a proposed pedestrian bridge that has been envisioned for the state’s largest city for well over a decade.
The Mulberry Commons pedestrian bridge project, which is slated to allow Newarkers, commuters, and visitors to walk between the Ironbound neighborhood, Newark Penn Station, and the existing Mulberry Commons park, is referenced in an ordinance that was introduced by the Newark Municipal Council on September 15.
The proposed legislation estimates the cost of the proposal at $110 million. It calls for authorizing municipal subsidies to “fund deficiencies in a debt reserve fund” related to mass transit access tax revenue bonds in order to finance the proposal and “pay the principal of and interest on” up to $15 million worth of project notes
The first phase of Mulberry Commons opened in 2019 near Ironside Newark and the Prudential Center, but the existing former railroad bridge over McCarter Highway and the lower part of Newark Penn Station remain fenced off and inaccessible to the public.
The pedestrian bridge project would make up the second phase of Mulberry Commons if completed and involve the removal of the bridge that is currently unutilized. NJ Advance Media reported last year that part of the funding is expected to come from a commuter parking tax and that the new bridge would include an indoor area with retail space along with access to the platforms at Newark Penn Station.